Cardiometabolic risk factors and mental health status among truck drivers: a systematic review

Amber J Guest, Yu-Ling Chen, Natalie Pearson, James A King, Nicola J Paine, Stacy A Clemes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Objective This study aimed to systematically review and summarise the literature on cardiometabolic risk factors, lifestyle health behaviours and mental health status of truck drivers globally to ascertain the scale of these health concerns.

Design Systematic review reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.

Data sources PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO and Web of Science were searched in January 2019 and updated in January 2020, from the date of inception to 16 January 2020.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Papers were included if they (1) reported independent data on truck drivers, (2) included quantitative data on outcomes related to cardiometabolic markers of health, mental health and/or health behaviours, (3) were written in English and (4) were published in a peer-reviewed journal. Grey literature was ineligible for this review.

Data extraction and synthesis One reviewer independently extracted data and assessed methodological quality using a checklist based on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Quality Assessment tool. 20% were independently assessed for eligibility and quality by a second reviewer. Due to heterogeneity of the outcomes, results were narratively presented.

Results 3601 titles and abstracts were screened. Seventy-three studies met the inclusion criteria. Truck driving is associated with enforced sedentarism, long and irregular working hours, lack of healthy foods, social isolation and chronic time pressures. Strong evidence was observed for truck drivers to generally exhibit poor cardiometabolic risk profiles including overweight and obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, high blood glucose, poor mental health and cigarette smoking.

Conclusions Improving truck driver health is vital for the longevity of the trucking industry, and for the safety of all road users. The workplace plays a vital role in truck driver health; policies, regulations and procedures are required to address this health crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere038993
Number of pages12
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Early online date23 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

The first author (AG) has received funding for their PhD Studentship from
the Colt Foundation. The Colt Foundation had no role in study design; election,
synthesis and interpretation of data; writing of the report; or the decision to submit
the manuscript for publication. SC and JAK are in receipt of funding from the
NIHR Public Health Research Programme (reference: NIHR PHR 15/190/42) for the
evaluation of a multi-component health behaviour intervention in truck drivers. They
are also supported by the NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre – Lifestyle
theme. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of
the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Data Availability Statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as online supplemental information. All data generated in this study are included in this published article and its additional files, no additional data are available.


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