Attenuated cardiovascular reactivity to acute psychological stress predicts future fatigue symptoms in truck drivers

Amber J Guest, Stacy A. Clemes, James A. King, Yu-Ling Chen, Katharina Ruettger, Mohsen Sayyah, Aron Sherry, Veronica Varela-Mato, Nicola J. Paine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to investigate the impact of a 6-month health intervention on truck drivers’ CVR to stress and whether CVR was predictive of depression, anxiety, or fatigue symptoms at 6-months follow-up.
238 truck drivers completed a 6-month cluster RCT to increase physical activity and completed a stress protocol (Stroop and Mirror tracing tasks) with measurements of heart rate (HR), systolic (SBP), and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure taken, alongside fatigue, anxiety, and depressive symptoms assessment. Measures were taken at 0-months and 6-months.
Analyses showed a negative relationship between 0-month DBP reactivity and 6-month persistent fatigue. Trends towards negative relationships between SBP reactivity and future anxiety and fatigue symptoms at 6-months were evident.
Our findings may have serious implications, as fatigue can be a major cause of road traffic collisions in truck drivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-234
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number3
Early online date26 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding: NIHR PHR Project: 15/190/42 (ISRCTN10483894). Colt Foundation PhD Studentship: (reference: JD/618). This research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Loughborough University, the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The funders had no involvement in designing the study; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication.


  • fatigue
  • truck drivers
  • stress reactivity
  • cardiovascular stress
  • psychological stress


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