Letters Acute coronary syndromes

Driving after an acute coronary syndrome

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5988 (Published 11 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5988
  1. Chris Valentine, occupational physician1
  1. 1People Asset Management, Glasgow G4 9TJ, UK
  1. chris.valentine{at}people-am.com

Part of the discharge process for patients who have had a coronary syndrome is advice on what activities they can do and, where appropriate, things they should not do.1 This includes advice on when they can safely and appropriately return to work and driving. Many patients have to drive to work and driving is a core part of some patients’ work.

In the UK, group 1 licence holders are advised that if successfully treated by coronary angioplasty,2 driving may recommence after a week provided:

  • No other urgent (within four weeks of the acute event) revascularisation is planned

  • Left ventricular ejection fraction is at least 40% before hospital discharge

  • There is no other disqualifying condition.

If not successfully treated by coronary angioplasty, driving may recommence after four weeks if there is no other disqualifying condition.

All acute coronary syndromes disqualify group 2 licence holders (lorries and buses) from driving for at least six weeks. Relicensing may be permitted thereafter if exercise or other functional test requirements can be met and there is no other disqualifying condition.

Many vocational drivers are self employed and keen to return to work as soon as possible. It is a surprise to many patients that current regulations disbar them from driving when they feel they have recovered.


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5988


  • Competing interests: None declared.


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