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PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31790. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031790. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Iranian professional drivers: results from a population based study of 12,138 men.

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Occupational Medicine Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.



It is evident that professional driving is associated with substantial changes in lifestyle habits. Professional drivers are prone to metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its complications because their working environment is characterized by numerous stress factors such as lack of physical activity due to working in a fixed position, disruption in diet, and irregular sleep habits. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of MetS among long distance drivers residing in West Azerbaijan province in Iran.


To assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among professional long distance drivers, 12138 participants were enrolled in this cross sectional study. The MetS was defined using International Diabetes Federation criteria.


Among 12138 participants, 3697 subjects found to be MetS. The crude and age-adjusted rates of MetS were 30.5% and 32.4% respectively. Based on Body mass index (BMI), 5027 subjects (41.4%) were overweight (BMI ≥ 25.01-30 kg/m2), and 2592 (21.3%) were obese (BMI ≥ 30.01 kg/m2). The presence of central obesity was more common than other components. The associations of MetS with BMI, pack-year smoking, age, weekly driving duration and driving experiences were significant in the logistic regression. By increasing BMI, pack-year smoking, age, weekly driving duration and driving experiences, odds ratio of MetS was increased.


The study suggests that MetS has become a noteworthy health problem among Iranian long distance drivers. This might be due to the following facts: sitting in a fixed position for long hours while working, cigarette smoking, job stress, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity. Educational programs should be established for promoting healthy lifestyle and also for early detection and appropriate interventions.

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