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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-28

Occupational stress and hypertension among railway loco pilots and section controllers


Retired Chief Medical Director, South Western Railway, Hubli, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Devasigamoney Jayakumar
No. 70, Golden Enclave, Defence Layout, Vidyaranyapura, Bengaluru - 560 097, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_45_17

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Introduction: A cross-sectional study on occupational stress was conducted on loco pilots in 2008, in view of loco pilots being one of the high strain jobs in Indian Railways. Subsequently, a comparative cross-sectional study on occupational stress was conducted among section controllers in 2011, which is another high strain job of Indian Railways. Objective: The studies were conducted to analyze and compare occupational stress and hypertension. Setting and Design: A cross-sectional study on occupational stress and hypertension was conducted among 230 loco pilots in 2008, and subsequently, a comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among 82 section controllers in 2011. Materials and Methods: A closed end 24 item questionnaire on occupational stress was administered. Systolic blood pressure above 140 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure above 90 mmHg were considered as hypertension as per the VII Joint National Committee. Chi-square test and t-test were used for testing significance at P < 0.05. Results: The mean stress score was 8.56 in loco pilots and 7.32 in section controllers. The number of loco pilots with more than 12 stress factors was 49 (21.3%) and the number of section controllers with more than 12 stress factors was 7 (8.5%). The number employees with more than 12 stress factors in different categories of loco pilots were 30 (32%) in the goods category, 12 (12%) in the mail/passenger category, and 7 (19%) in the shunter category, and 3 (11%) in the supervisory category and 4 (7%) in the on-board category of section controllers. The prevalence of hypertension in loco pilots was 36.52% (84) and in the section controllers was 53.66% (44). The prevalence of hypertension in the category with more than 12 stress factors was 30.61% (15) in the loco pilots and 28.57% (2) in the section controllers. The prevalence of hypertension in the both the study groups were higher in the older age, with a family history of hypertension, and with a body mass index of more than 25 kg/m2. The mean occupational stress and employees with more than 12 stress factors were higher in the loco pilots group. The goods category of loco pilots had highest stress factors. The prevalence of hypertension was high in the category with risk factors such as older age, family history of hypertension and BMI above 25 kg/m2.






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