Vol 71, No 3 (2020)
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Published online: 2020-09-28

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Cardiovascular risk factors among 3712 Greek seafarers

Marios Papadakis1, Andreas Afendras2, Charalampos Skiadas3, Despoina Renieri3, Morfo Tsaknaki4, Ioannis Filippopoulos5, Chrysoula Liakou2
Pubmed: 33001429
IMH 2020;71(3):181-183.


Background: Global concern on seafarers’ health and its potential cost is widely evident across the shipping industry. Seafarers are at increased cardiovascular risk since it is common to have risk factors associated with that risk such as hyperlipidaemia, obesity and smoking. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), i.e. hyperlipidaemia, smoking and obesity, in Greek seafarers.
Materials and methods: During pre-embarkation medical examination, seafarers undergo an interview with a physician, physical examination and laboratory tests. The parameters studied included hyperlipidaemia, identified as low density lipoprotein > 150 mg/dL, tobacco use or severe obesity, as defined by body mass index > 35 kg/m2.
Results: A total of 3712 seafarers have been examined. Seafarers had overall rates of 3% hyperlipidaemia, 4% tobacco use and 0.2% severe obesity, with similar distributions in all age groups. Our study shows that Greek seafarers have lower risk for CVD, as low rates of obesity, tobacco use, and hyperlipidaemia are observed. The related literature is discussed. Unhealthy eating patterns are the rule and contribute to CVD. Shipping management could improve diet on board; however, smoking falls rather under individual control. Conclusions: We conclude that, despite the low rates of hyperlipidaemia, smoking and obesity among Greek seafarers compared to other nations, campaigns for promoting awareness of the phenomenon and on the potential health impact of these conditions should be promoted.

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