The metabolic syndrome among Danish seafarers: a follow-up study

Jørgen Riis Jepsen, Hanna Barbara Rasmussen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

162 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The metabolic syndrome (MS) represents a cluster of risk factors related to insulin resistance. MS is a strong risk factor for chronic metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and related to nutritional factors, sleep patterns, work-related stress, fatigue, and physical activity — all of which are critical issues at sea. We have previously demonstrated a MS prevalence of 24.2 % in Danish seafarers. This study aimed to follow the trend of MS after two years’ intervention.
Materials and methods: Out of 524 Danish seafarers (mean age 38.5 years) who underwent medical fit-for-duty examination by seamen’s doctors at baseline, 132 seafarers (mean age 43 years) were tracked and re-examined after two years. At baseline all participants received general advice regarding lifestyle issues. Seafarers with MS were additionally given specific advice regarding treatment. The seafarers provided questionnaire information about their workplace on board, about treatment of hyperlipemia, hypertension, and about previously diagnosed type 2-diabetes. In order to define MS, we collected data about waist circumference, blood pressure, triglyceride, HDL-cholesterol, and fasting plasma glucose.
Results: Out of 35 seafarers (26.5 %) who fulfilled the criteria for MS at follow up, 18 had MS at baseline while nine were incident cases. Two seafarers with MS at baseline ceased to qualify for this condition at follow-up. The prevalence of seafarers with MS at follow-up represents a minimal estimate because a proportion could not be assessed due to missing fasting blood tests. Smoking and alcohol consumption was not reduced.
Conclusions: In spite of the intervention, the prevalence of MS increased in this group of seafarers. This study indicates the limitations of individual health promotion and the need for corporate actions.
TidsskriftInternational Maritime Health
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)129-136
StatusUdgivet - 1. jan. 2016


Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'The metabolic syndrome among Danish seafarers: a follow-up study'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.