Canadian Cardiovascular Society 2023 Guidelines on the Fitness to Drive Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Cardiovascular conditions are among the most frequent causes of impairment to drive, because they might induce unpredictable mental state alterations via diverse mechanisms like myocardial ischemia, cardiac arrhythmias, and vascular dysfunction. Accordingly, health professionals are often asked to assess patients' fitness to drive (FTD). The Canadian Cardiovascular Society previously published FTD guidelines in 2003-2004; herein, we present updated FTD guidelines. Because there are no randomized trials on FTD, observational studies were used to estimate the risk of driving impairment in each situation, and recommendations made on the basis of Canadian Cardiovascular Society Risk of Harm formula. More restrictive recommendations were made for commercial drivers, who spend longer average times behind the wheel, use larger vehicles, and might transport a larger number of passengers. We provide guidance for individuals with: (1) active coronary artery disease; (2) various forms of valvular heart disease; (3) heart failure, heart transplant, and left ventricular assist device situations; (4) arrhythmia syndromes; (5) implantable devices; (6) syncope history; and (7) congenital heart disease. We suggest appropriate waiting times after cardiac interventions or acute illnesses before driving resumption. When short-term driving cessation is recommended, recommendations are on the basis of expert consensus rather than the Risk of Harm formula because risk elevation is expected to be transient. These recommendations, although not a substitute for clinical judgement or governmental regulations, provide specialists, primary care providers, and allied health professionals with a comprehensive list of a wide range of cardiac conditions, with guidance provided on the basis of the level of risk of impairment, along with recommendations about ability to drive and the suggested duration of restrictions.


  • Guerra, Peter G
  • Simpson, Christopher S
  • Van Spall, Harriette
  • Asgar, Anita W
  • Billia, Phyllis
  • Cadrin-Tourigny, Julia
  • Chakrabarti, Santabhanu
  • Cheung, Christopher C
  • Dore, Annie
  • Fordyce, Christopher B
  • Gouda, Pishoy
  • Hassan, Ansar
  • Krahn, Andrew
  • Luc, Jessica GY
  • Mak, Susanna
  • McMurtry, Sean
  • Norris, Colleen
  • Philippon, Francois
  • Sapp, John
  • Sheldon, Robert
  • Silversides, Candice
  • Steinberg, Christian
  • Wood, David A

publication date

  • April 2024