Prevalence of depressive disorders in professional drivers – epidemiologic subanalysis of the RACER study.
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I Katedra i Klinika Kardiologii WUM
Filip M. Szymanski   

I Katedra i Klinika Kardiologii, Warszawski Uniwersytet Medyczny, ul. Banacha 1a, 02-097 Warszawa, Polska
Submission date: 2015-03-29
Final revision date: 2015-05-19
Acceptance date: 2015-05-25
Publication date: 2016-08-30
Psychiatr Pol 2016;50(4):859–871
Professional drivers of the public transportation are one of the occupational groups exposed to very poor working conditions. Factors such as low physical activity, irregular working hours, poor eating habits and excessive stress at work, have a negative impact on cardiovascular risk and promote the development of diseases of the cardiovascular system. This study aimed to establish the prevalence of depression and work-related stress in a group of drivers from the RACER (Risk of Adverse Cardiovascular Events among professional dRivers in Poland – development of specific cardiovascular preventive program) study population.

The prospective RACER study includes unselected professional drivers and aims to establish prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in this group. During the enrolment all subjects were asked to fill in the BDI-II. All drivers were also asked about job-related stress and had their history taken for cardiovascular risk factors.

Out of the subjects included into the RACER study drivers employed in the public bus transportation were selected. Analysis covered 292 consecutive drivers of public transportation buses as well as drivers of international coaches (96.6% male, mean age 48.2 ± 10.7 years). Following the BDI-II scoring subjects were categorized according to symptoms. Symptoms of depression were found in 5.8% subjects. There were no differences in populations with and without depression in terms of age and body mass index (p > 0.05). All subjects were asked “Do you find your job stressful?” The answer was affirmative in 205 (70.2%) of drivers. No significant differences were found in the prevalence of depression in drivers who found their job stressful or not, or between the drivers of international coaches and city buses.

In professional drivers prevalence of depressive symptoms and work-related stress is relatively high. There are no clinical factors predictive of high risk for depressive disorders development. This along with cardiovascular risk associated with depression is reason for routine, psychological screening of professional drivers.