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Business Travel and Self-rated Health, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

Richards, Catherine A. MPH; Rundle, Andrew G. DrPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 4 - p 358–363
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182143e77
Original Articles: CME Available for this Article at

Objective: To assess associations between extent of travel for business and health.

Methods: Associations between business travel and cardiovascular disease risk factors were assessed using medical record data from 13,057 patients provided by EHE International, Inc.

Results: Compared with light travelers (1 to 6 nights per month), nontravelers were more likely to report poor/fair health (odds ratio = 1.58; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.33 to 1.87) and the odds ratios increased with increasing travel, reaching 2.61 (95% CI: 1.57 to 4.33) among extensive travelers (>20 nights per month). Compared with light travelers, the odds ratios for obesity were highest among nontravelers (odds ratio = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.18 to 1.50) and extensive travelers (odds ratio = 1.92; 95% CI: 1.25 to 2.94). Although the differences were small, nontravelers and extensive travelers had the highest diastolic blood pressure and lowest high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

Conclusion: Poor self-rated health and obesity are associated with extensive business travel.

From the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Address correspondence to: Andrew Rundle, Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th St, Room 730, New York, NY 10032; Email:

Dr Rundle serves on the Medical Advisory Board of EHE International. EHE International did not play a role in the design of the study, analyses of the data, interpretation of the data, in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication or in the writing of the manuscript. EHE International did verify that the text in the “Methods” section describing the company and its programs was factually correct.

Catherine A. Richards and Andrew G. Rundle have no financial interest related to this research.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine