A recent research study by the University of California, Irvine – School of Medicine found that there is a link between the job demands of career firefighters and high blood pressure.
The study investigated whether working conditions such as number of 24-hour shifts, number of calls, sedentary work, job strain, and other physical demands are associated with elevated blood pressure and hypertension. 330 career firefighters from southern California participated in the study by completing a firefighter-specific occupational health questionnaire and having their blood pressure and hypertension levels clinically assessed.
- There is a link between high job demands (many additional 24-hour shifts in the past month and increased demands over past years) and high blood pressure among career firefighters.
- There is a need to optimize the collective and individual workload of firefighters by limiting the number of 24-hour shifts that a firefighter can work and recruiting new firefighters.
- Half of the hypertensive firefighters (mostly with mild hypertension) had uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- Optimal workload and improved hypertension management are needed to enhance the cardiovascular health of firefighters.
Choi, B., Schnall, P., & Dobson, M. (2016). Twenty-four-hour work shifts, increased job demands, and elevated blood pressure in professional firefighters. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 89(7), 1111-1125. doi:10.1007/s00420-016-1151-5
Learn more about this research
This study by the University of California, Irvine – School of Medicine was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The research article is available through our library by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested readers may be able to access the article through their local library or through the publisher’s website.
See also: Cardiac fatalities in firefighters