Background: Diabetes is a disease with high social impact and it is important to consider how work may be influenced by it or whether work itself may promote or accelerate its course.
Objectives: The objective was to investigate the prevalence of diabetes in four critical categories of workers. The survey involved construction workers, truck drivers, bus drivers and shift workers in the manufacturing sector.
Methods: In the years 2012-14 we investigated 2034 males workers, through personal history, physical examination, laboratory tests. The subjects with fasting glucose >125 mg/dl underwent a second control and haemoglobin A1c determination. Positive cases were referred to specialist control. Expected prevalence and standardized prevalence ratio (SPR) were calculated using official data regarding diabetes prevalence in Italy.
Results: The prevalence of diabetes in 608 truck drivers was 4.4% (expected 2.6%, SPR 1.69, IC95% 1.08 to 2.31); in 860 construction workers 1.9% (expected 2.1%, SPR 0.90, IC95% 0.48 to 1.33); in 378 bus drivers 2.6% (expected 3.5%, SPR 0.74, IC95% 0.29 to 1.20); in 188 shift workers 3.2% (expected 2.1%, SPR 1.52, IC95% 0.33 to 2.71). In the age range 35-59 years the prevalence in 467 truck drivers was 5.1% (expected 2.4%, SPR 2.13, IC 95% 1.29 to 2.96).
Discussion: Diabetes was confirmed to be highly prevalent at working ages. The study highlighted an increased diabetes prevalence among truck drivers, whereas other jobs might represent protective factors; this hypothesis, however, needs further investigation.
Keywords: Diabete, Prevalenza, Lavoro / Diabetes, Prevalence, Work.