Screening for type 2 diabetes and hypertension in seafarers’ medical examinations

Olaf Chresten Jensen*, Agnes Flores, Victoria Corman, Maria Luisa Canals, David Lucas, Ilona Denisenko, Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno, Anna Lilja Secher, Gregers Stig Andersen, Marit Eika Jørgensen, Helena Estopà Pujol, Guido Cohen, Finn Gyntelberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: The aims of the study are: 1) to replace the urine glucose test for diabetes with more than 50% false negatives, with an accurate screening for type 2 diabetes and hypertension in the mandatory biannual fit-for-duty medical examinations of seafarers; 2) to produce data driven “Green Ship” health promotion in the ships. A new health promotion and disease prevention public health intervention programme integrated in the fit-for-duty medical examinations for seafarers is being developed.Materials and methods: The lack of an accurate diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is replaced by accurate HbA1c and/or fasting glucose tests and the test for hypertension in various disease stages is based on the International Associations’ Guidelines. A “Green Ship” health promotion programme is proposed for all on board, not only for diseased crew members. Results: A protocol for an accurate biannual screening for diabetes and hypertension is presented. Educational programmes for medical doctors and seafarers on the management of hypertension and diabetes on board will be developed. Presuming that all crew members are potentially on their way to be pre-diseased or are diseased, the “Green Ship” health promotion programme is implemented for the whole crew. Conclusions: The International Labour Organization and the National Maritime Authorities are prompted to revise the International and the National Guidelines for Seafarers Medical Examinations, respectively. Concerted actions are requested to implement public health promotion projects in shipping. Maritime medical doctors are prompted to use health dialogues and to report the clinical data in the Excel file. Sustainability is obtained by complying with the Sustainable Development Goals (3, 4, 8, 10, and 17).

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Maritime Health
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)64-72
Publication statusPublished - 22. Jun 2022


  • Early diagnosis
  • Fishermen
  • Hypertension
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Screening
  • Seafarers
  • Type 2 diabetes


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