Background: Professional drivers are at an increased risk of myocardial infarction but the underlying causes for this increased risk are uncertain.
Methods: We identified all first events of myocardial infarction among men age 45-70 years in Stockholm County for 1992 and 1993. We selected controls randomly from the population. Response rates of 72% and 71% resulted in 1067 cases and 1482 controls, respectively. We obtained exposure information from questionnaires. We calculated odds ratios (ORs), with and without adjustment for socioeconomic status, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, physical inactivity at leisure time, overweight status, diabetes and hypertension.
Results: The crude OR among bus drivers was 2.14 (95% confidence interval = 1.34-3.41), among taxi drivers 1.88 (1.19-2.98) and among truck drivers 1.66 (1.22-2.26). Adjustment for potential confounders gave lower ORs: 1.49 (0.90-2.45), 1.34 (0.82-2.19) and 1.10 (0.79-1.53), respectively. Additional adjustment for job strain lowered the ORs only slightly. An exposure-response pattern (by duration of work) was found for bus and taxi drivers.
Conclusions: The high risk among bus and taxi drivers was partly explained by unfavorable life-style factors and social factors. The work environment may contribute to their increased risk. Among truck drivers, individual risk factors seemed to explain most of the elevated risk.