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In danger? An exploration of Canadian truck drivers' health through the Canadian Community Health Survey

TitleIn danger? An exploration of Canadian truck drivers' health through the Canadian Community Health Survey
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsWawzonek, P. Aaron
UniversityUniversity of Waterloo
CityWaterloo, ON
Keywordsbody mass index, canadian community health survey, cardiovascular disease, health status, motor-vehicle collisions, musculoskeletal disorders, truck driver

Background: There exists substantive evidence showing that the health status of truck drivers from the United States (US) is much poorer than the general US population. Comparatively there is much less research on Canadian truck drivers, however the macroergonomics of the motor carrier industry in both countries makes it challenging for drivers to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thus Canadian truck drivers may also be at risk for poor health outcomes. The objectives of this thesis are threefold; to: (1) estimate the prevalence of chronic diseases in Canadian truck drivers and determine if the prevalence rates are higher than in the Canadian population, (2) identify and quantify the risk factors for chronic diseases in Canadian truck drivers, and (3) elucidate the variables that significantly correlate to BMI in Canadian truck drivers. Methods: A sample of 991 male truck drivers was compared to 29,958 male respondents of a similar demographic profile in the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) from 2009- 2010 (Cycle 5.1). The samples were comprised of those who were aged 18-65, worked 10-130 hours a week, had an income of at least $20,000, and had a Body Mass Index less than 60. The sample was restricted to males since female truck drivers make up less than 5% of the truck driver population, and there would be an insufficient sample size of female truck drivers to generate statistically sound confidence intervals. Furthermore female truck drivers have similar morbidities when compared to males. Cycle 5.1 of the 2009-2010 CCHS was used as this was the last year that occupation was measured in the CCHS. The reporting of occupation made this analysis on truck drivers possible. The CCHS is a cross sectional design survey which had a multi-stage stratified clustering sample design which obtained samples from all health regions of Canada. Chi-squared and regression analyses were performed, following bootstrapping and application of sample weights. Results: When compared to other working males in the CCHS, male truck drivers had an adjusted Prevalence Ratio (PR) of 1.45 (p

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