We are working with the Healthy Trucking Association of America, (HTAA) to help educate and support truckers at risk of liver disease. It isn't commonly known that truckers have among the highest rates of diabetes and heart disease of any profession which means they also have a high risk of asymptomatic undiagnosed liver disease. HTAA produces INTHECAB radio an internet radio so if you would like to listen click on the link. If you are a country music fan you may like the station even if you aren't a trucker.
Dr. John McElligott, cofounder of the St. Christopher Trucker Development and Relief Fund, has described fatty liver disease as, “the scourge of the trucking industry,” in a September 2017 blog post. Data from 1670 long-haul truck drivers obtained by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in their 2010 National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury support substantially higher prevalence of metabolic disease among truckers relative to the general working population:
- 69% obese (vs 31% of working adults in US; P< .01)
- 17% morbidly obese (vs 7% of working adults in US; P< .01)
- 14% with diabetes (vs 7% of general US population; P< .05)
Since nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are commonly without any symptoms, most truckers do not know that their risk of developing cirrhosis is much higher than that of the general population. We are working to help the community understand that and begin to take steps to address it before they become ill.
1. Dr. John’s Medical Solutions Blog. https://docjmd.com/blog/fatty-liver-disease-the-scourge-of-the-trucking-industry/. Accessed August 15, 2018.
2. SieberWK, Robinson CF, BirdseyJ, et al. Obesity and other risk factors: the national survey of U.S. long-haul truck driver health and injury. Am J IndMed. 2014;57:615-626.