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Impact of a Hypertension Management/Health Promotion Program on Commercial Driver's License Employees of a Self-Insured Utility Company

Harshman, Robert S. MD; Richerson, Gerald T. AET, BSE; Hadker, Nandini MS; Greene, Beth L. BA; Brown, T Michelle PhD; Foster, Talia S. MS; Turner, Beverly H. RN; Skrepnek, Samantha H. MPH; Doyle, Joseph J. RPh, MBA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 3 - p 359-365
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181638657
Original Articles

Objective: Federal regulations governing transportation safety disqualify commercial drivers with persistent uncontrolled hypertension. We sought to determine whether a hypertension management and health promotion program designed for commercial drivers improved blood pressure (BP) outcomes among drivers employed by a self-insured utility company.

Methods: This retrospective study examined the employment-related medical examinations of 501 randomly selected commercial drivers for measurements of BP, height, and weight taken before and after the intervention.

Results: After the program, significantly fewer employees had uncontrolled hypertension according to the Department of Transportation hypertension guidelines (17.2% vs 26.1%, P < 0.01). This improvement was consistent across subgroups defined by diabetes, obesity, and use of antihypertensive medication.

Conclusions: An education program improved control of BP among commercial drivers, improving their health and safety, and reducing the number at high risk of medical disqualification.

From the Georgia Power/Southern Company (Dr Harshman, Mr Richerson, Ms Turner), Atlanta, Ga; Abt Associates, Inc. (Ms Hadker, Ms Greene, Dr Brown, Ms Foster), Lexington, Mass; and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Ms Skrepnek, Mr Doyle), East Hanover, NJ.

Address correspondence to: T. Michelle Brown, PhD, Abt Associates, Inc., 181 Spring Street, Lexington, MA 02421; E-mail: michelle_brown@abtassoc.com

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine