ResearchPad - occupational-and-environmental-medicine https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Identifying return to work trajectories among employees on sick leave due to mental health problems using latent class transition analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9131 To develop effective return to work (RTW) interventions for employees on sick leave due to mental health problems (MHPs), a better understanding of individual variation in the RTW process is needed. We investigated which RTW trajectories can be identified among employees with MHPs in terms of RTW duration and relapse occurrence during the RTW process. Additionally, we examined how different RTW trajectories can be described in terms of personal and work characteristics.MethodsLongitudinal sickness absence registry data were collected retrospectively from the largest Dutch occupational health service. Quantitative RTW information as well as personal and work characteristics were extracted. In total, 9517 employees with a sickness absence due to MHPs were included in the analyses (62 938 data points; RTW durations from 29 to 730 days).ResultsA latent class transition analysis revealed five distinct RTW trajectories, namely (1) fast RTW with little chance of relapse, (2) slow RTW with little chance of relapse, (3) fast RTW with considerable chance of relapse, (4) slow RTW with considerable chance of relapse and (5) very fast RTW with very small chance of relapse. Differences between employees in the slower and faster trajectories were observed regarding gender, age, type of MHP, organisation sector and organisation size but not regarding part-time work.ConclusionsRTW trajectories among employees with MHPs showed large individual variability and differed on personal and work characteristics. Knowledge on different RTW trajectories and their characteristics contributes to the development of personalised RTW treatments, tailored to specific individuals and organisations. ]]> <![CDATA[Magnitude and determinants of road traffic accidents in Northern Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9b78428e-5b6d-4bf8-a90a-20fe696d92bf

Objective

This study aimed to assess the magnitude and determinants of road traffic accidents (RTAs) in Mekelle city, Northern Ethiopia.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was done using a simple random sampling technique.

Setting

The study was done in Mekelle city from February to June 2015.

Participants

The study was done among drivers settled in Mekelle city.

Main outcome measures

The main outcome measure was occurrence of RTA within 2 years. A binary logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with RTA.

Results

The magnitude of RTA was found to be 23.17%. According to the drivers’ perceived cause of the accident, 22 (38.60%) of the accident was due to violation of traffic rules and regulations. The majority of the victims were pedestrians, 19 (33.33%). Drivers who were driving a governmental vehicle were 4.16 (adjusted OR (AOR) 4.16; 95% CI 1.48 to 11.70) times more likely to have RTA compared with those who drive private vehicles. Drivers who used alcohol were 2.29 (AOR 2.29; 95% CI 1.08 to 4.85) times more likely to have RTA compared with those drivers who did not consume alcohol.

Conclusion

Magnitude of reported road traffic accident was high. Violation of traffic laws, lack of vehicle maintenance and lack of general safety awareness on pedestrians were the dominant reported causes of RTAs. Driving a governmental vehicle and alcohol consumption were the factors associated with RTA. Monitoring blood alcohol level of drivers and regular awareness to the drivers should be in place. Holistic study should be done to identify the causes of RTAs.

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<![CDATA[Occupational exposure to silica and risk of heart disease: a systematic review with meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N110bc6b5-d9ba-43ec-a34d-69b11b531e77

Objective

To search for evidence of the relationship between occupational silica exposure and heart disease.

Design

A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Background

Growing evidence suggests a relationship between occupational silica exposure and heart disease; however, the link between them is less clear.

Data sources

PubMed, ScienceDirect, Springer and EMBASE were searched for articles published between 1 January 1995 and 20 June 2019. Articles that investigated the effects of occupational silica exposure on the risk of heart disease were considered.

Study selection

We included cohort studies, including prospective, retrospective and retroprospective studies.

Data extraction and synthesis

We extracted data using a piloted data collection form and conducted random-effects meta-analysis and exposure-response analysis. The meta-relative risk (meta-RR), a measure of the average ratio of heart disease rates in those with and without silica exposure, was used as an inverse variance-weighted average of relative risks from the individual studies. The Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for cohort studies was used for study quality assessment.

Outcome measure

We calculated the risk of heart diseases such as pulmonary heart disease, ischaemic heart disease and others.

Results

Twenty cohort studies were included. The results suggest a significant increase in the risk of overall heart disease (meta-RR=1.08, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.13). Stronger evidence of association with pulmonary heart disease was found in the risk estimate of both categories of heart disease (meta-RR=1.24, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.43) and in the exposure-response analysis (meta-RR=1.39, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.62). Our subgroup analyses also revealed that the statistical heterogeneity among studies could be attributed mainly to the diversity in reference group, occupation and study quality score.

Conclusions

Silica-exposed workers are at an increased risk for overall heart disease, especially pulmonary heart disease. Further research is needed to better clarify the relationship between occupational silica exposure and ischaemic heart disease.

PROSPERO registration number

CRD42019124673.

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<![CDATA[Working in a cold environment, feeling cold at work and chronic pain: a cross-sectional analysis of the Tromsø Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb29ed82b-f76a-41a4-b0d8-f6b0cc9f655a

Aim

The aim of this study was to investigate if working in a cold environment and feeling cold at work are associated with chronic pain (ie, lasting ≥3 months).

Methods

We used data from the sixth survey (2007–2008) of the Tromsø Study. Analyses included 6533 men and women aged 30–67 years who were not retired, not receiving full-time disability benefits and had no missing values. Associations between working in a cold environment, feeling cold at work and self-reported chronic pain were examined with logistic regression adjusted for age, sex, education, body mass index, insomnia, physical activity at work, leisure time physical activity and smoking.

Results

779 participants reported working in a cold environment ≥25% of the time. This exposure was positively associated with pain at ≥3 sites (OR 1.57; 95% CI 1.23 to 2.01) and with neck, shoulder and leg pain, but not with pain at 1–2 sites. Feeling cold sometimes or often at work was associated with pain at ≥3 sites (OR 1.58; 95% CI 1.22 to 2.07 and OR 3.90; 95% CI 2.04 to 7.45, respectively). Feeling cold often at work was significantly and positively associated with pain at all sites except the hand, foot, stomach and head.

Conclusion

Working in a cold environment was significantly associated with chronic pain. The observed association was strongest for pain at musculoskeletal sites and for those who often felt cold at work.

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<![CDATA[Study protocol for the assessment of nurses internal contamination by antineoplastic drugs in hospital centres: a cross-sectional multicentre descriptive study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na0baa0c3-f08b-433d-a6f1-277870ecf106

Introduction

Antineoplastic drugs (AD) are potentially carcinogenic and/or reprotoxic molecules. Healthcare professionals are increasingly exposed to these drugs and can be potentially contaminated by them. Internal contamination of professionals is a key concern for occupational physicians in the assessment and management of occupational risks in healthcare settings. Objectives of this study are to report AD internal contamination rate in nursing staff and to identify factors associated with internal contamination.

Methods and analysis

This trial will be conducted in two French hospital centres: University Hospital of Bordeaux and IUCT-Oncopole of Toulouse. The target population is nurses practicing in one of the fifteen selected care departments where at least one of the five studied AD is handled (5-fluorouracil, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, ifosfamide, methotrexate). The trial will be conducted with the following steps: (1) development of analytical methods to quantify AD urine biomarkers, (2) study of the workplace and organization around AD in each care department (transport and handling, professional practices, personal and collective protection equipments available) (3) development of a self-questionnaire detailing professional activities during the day of inclusion, (4) nurses inclusion (urine samples and self-questionnaire collection), (5) urine assays, (6) data analysis.

Ethics and dissemination

The study protocol has been approved by the French Advisory Committee on the Treatment of Information in Health Research (CCTIRS) and by the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL). Following the opinion of the Regional Committee for the Protection of Persons, this study is outside the scope of the provisions governing biomedical research and routine care (n°2014/87). The results will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals and reported at suitable national and international meetings.

Trial registration number

NCT03137641.

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<![CDATA[Working conditions and compensated sickness absence among nurses and care assistants in Sweden during two decades: a cross-sectional biennial survey study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na1e85a9b-555e-4d39-a198-fe4ae65025d7

Objectives

The aims of the study were to trace the patterns of work environment factors and compensated sickness absence (SA) among nurses and care assistants compared with other occupations and to compare SA among exposed and non-exposed nurses and care assistants.

Design

A cross-sectional survey on work environment factors based on the biennial Swedish Work Environment Surveys 1991–2013, linked to longitudinal register data on SA 1993–2014.

Participants

The study included 98 249 individuals, stratified into nurses and care assistants (n=16 179) and a reference population including all other occupations (n=82 070).

Outcome measure

Annual days of compensated SA (>14 days) 3 years after exposure years.

Results

Nurses and care assistants had higher SA in 1993–2014 compared with all other occupations, and differences in background factors only partly explained this relationship. For both groups, exposure to physical work factors remained steady, but the number of exposed were 10%–30% higher among nurses and care assistants. Those exposed to heavy physical work and strenuous working postures had in most years significantly higher SA when compared with non-exposed (rate ratio range: 1.4–1.9). Exposure to high job demands increased 10%–25% in 1991–1999 among nurses and care assistants but became more stable in 2001–2013 and high proportions of high job demands coincided with the increase in SA in 1995–1999. Nurses and care assistants exposed to high job demands had for most years significantly higher SA than non-exposed (rate ratio range: 1.5–2.1). Low job control and low support from supervisors elevated SA significantly only for a few years.

Conclusions

Exposure to negative work factors among nurses and care assistants was weakly associated with variations in SA, but may be related to their higher level of SA when compared with other occupations. Improved physical and psychosocial working conditions may reduce the elevated SA level in these occupations.

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<![CDATA[Postural sway, working years and BMI in healthy truck drivers: an observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b421016463d7e11a73f5e53

Objectives

The following study analyses the influence of risk factors among the occupational group of truck drivers on postural control and body mass index (BMI).

Design

Observational study.

Setting

One motorway station close to several highways in Germany.

Participants

180 truck drivers (177 male/3 female), aged 21–65 years old, took part in this study.

Outcome measures

Postural control was examined using a pressure plate. In order to examine the influence of body weight (BMI) and working years on postural control, subjects were divided into samples of five and three groups, respectively. Furthermore, it was evaluated whether the subjects suffered from back pain. For data analysis, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used as the data were not normally distributed. Once the p value of the Kruskal-Wallis test was p≤0.05, the Conover-Iman comparison and afterwards the Bonferroni-Holm correction were used. The significance level was set at α ≤0.05.

Results

Regarding the number of working years, a significant increase of frontal (p≤0.04) and sagittal (p≤0.001) sway were observed. The correlation of the five BMI groups with the number of working years demonstrates that an increase of the working years leads to an increase of BMI (p≤0.03). Furthermore, the majority of truck drivers participating in this study suffered from back pain (61.7%).

Conclusions

BMI and musculoskeletal impairment are indicators of health risk factors. In this study, it is shown that an increasing number of working years and an increasing BMI lead to a decrease in frontal and sagittal postural sway. In addition, the number of working years correlates with body weight and back pain.

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<![CDATA[Are dietary patterns differently associated with differentiated levels of mental health problems? Results from a large cross-sectional study among Iranian manufacturing employees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59e0dad5eed0c4841111c8

Objectives

The present study aimed to classify participants based on mental health problems profile and to evaluate its relationship with dietary patterns among Iranian manufacturing employees.

Design

Observational study with a cross-sectional design.

Setting

This study was conducted in Esfahan Steel Company, one of the biggest Iranian industrial manufacturing companies.

Participants

Complete data on 2942 manufacturing employees, with a mean (SD) age of 36.68 (7.31) years, were analysed.

Outcome measures

Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale(HADA) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) were used to evaluate anxiety and depression and psychological distress, respectively.

Results

Three major dietary patterns, namely ‘western’, ‘healthy’ and ‘traditional’, were extracted using factor analysis. A two-class, one-factor structure was identified from study participants in terms of mental health problems profile based on the factor mixture model. Two identified classes were labelled as ‘low mental health problems’ (2683 manufacturing employees, 91.2%) and ‘high mental health problems’ (259 individuals, 8.8%). After adjusting for the impact of potential confounders, manufacturing employees in the highest tertile of healthy dietary pattern had lower odds of being in the high mental health problems profile class (OR=0.67, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.92). In contrast, greater adherence to Western and traditional dietary patterns was associated with increased odds of being in the high mental health problems class (OR=1.66, 95% CI: 1.18 to 2.35 and OR=1.52, 95% CI :1.10 to 2.11, respectively).

Conclusions

Our study provided informative pathways on the association of dietary patterns and mental health among manufacturing employees. The findings can be used by workplace health promotion policymakers in improving mental health in such study population. Interventional and prospective studies that investigate the effects of change in dietary patterns on the mental health of manufacturing employees are suggested.

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<![CDATA[Migraine, tension-type headache and medication-overuse headache in a large population of shift working nurses: a cross-sectional study in Norway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c19b155d5eed0c484c4c9e6

Objectives

To investigate associations between different types of headaches and shift work.

Design, participants and outcome measures

Nurses with different work schedules (day work, two-shift rotation, night work, three-shift rotation) participated in a cohort study with annual surveys that started in 2008/2009. In 2014 (wave 6), a comprehensive headache instrument was included in the survey, in which 1585 nurses participated. Headaches were assessed according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders IIIb. Frequent headache (≥1 day per month), migraine, tension-type headache, chronic headache (headache >14 days per month) and medication-overuse headache (chronic headache + acute headache medication ≥10 days last month) comprised the dependent variables. Adjusted (for sex, age, percentage of full-time equivalent, marital status, children living at home) logistic regression analyses were conducted with work schedule, number of night shifts worked last year, number of quick returns (<11 hours in-between shifts) last year, shift work disorder and insomnia disorder as predictors.

Results

Frequent headache, migraine and chronic headache were associated with shift work disorder (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.62 to 2.59; 1.60, 1.21 to 2.12; 2.45, 1.25 to 4.80, respectively) and insomnia disorder (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.43 to 2.23; 1.55, 1.18 to 2.02; 3.03, 1.54 to 5.95, respectively), but not with work schedule, number of night shifts or number of quick returns. Tension-type headache was only associated with >20 night shifts last year (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.86). Medication-overuse headache was only associated with insomnia disorder (OR 7.62, 95% CI 2.48 to 23.41).

Conclusions

We did not find any association between different types of headaches and work schedule. However, tension-type headache was associated with high number of night shifts. Nurses with sleep disorders (insomnia disorder and shift work disorder) reported higher prevalence of frequent headaches, migraine, chronic headache and medication-overuse headache (only insomnia) compared with nurses not having insomnia disorder and shift work disorder, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Particulate matter emissions of four types of one cigarette brand with and without additives: a laser spectrometric particulate matter analysis of secondhand smoke]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c644702d5eed0c484c2c963

Objective

Inhaled particulate matter (PM) in secondhand smoke (SHS) is deleterious for smokers and non-smokers. Different additives in cigarettes might effect the amount of PM. This study aimed to assess the influence of additives on the PM emissions from different cigarette types in SHS.

Design

An experimental study of PM measuring in SHS of cigarettes without exposition of any person.

Method

The concentrations of PM (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1) in SHS of four different types of cigarettes of the brand Lucky Strike, two types with additives (Original Red, Original Blue) and two types without additives (Straight Red, Straight Blue), in comparison to the reference cigarette 3R4F were analysed. An automatic environmental tobacco smoke emitter generated SHS in an enclosed space with a volume of 2.88 m3. PM was measured with a laser aerosol spectrometer (Grimm model 1.109). Afterwards, the measuring values of the four Lucky Strike brands and the reference cigarette were statistically evaluated and visualised.

Results

Lucky Strike Straight Blue, a cigarette type without additives and lower tar amount, showed 10% to 25% lower PM mean values compared with the other tested Lucky Strike products, but 21% (PM1) respectively 27% (PM2.5,PM10) higher mean values than the reference cigarette. The PM mean of all measured smoke-free baseline values (clean air) was 1.6 µg/m³. It increased up to about 1800 µg/m³ for the reference cigarette and up to about 3070 µg/m³ for the Lucky Strike Original Blue.

Conclusions

The findings of this study show the massive increase of PM amount by smoking cigarettes in enclosed spaces and suggest that additives in tobacco products increase the PM amount in SHS. For validation, further comparative studies are necessary focusing on the comparison of the PM concentration of cigarettes with and without additives.

Implications

Due to the exposure to SHS, 890 000 people die each year worldwide. PM in SHS endangers the health of both non-smokers and smokers. This study considers the effect of additives like aromatics and humectant agents in cigarettes on PM in SHS. Do additives in tobacco products increase the amount of PM?

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<![CDATA[Effect of work schedule on prospective antidepressant prescriptions in Sweden: a 2-year sex-stratified analysis using national drug registry data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6446d4d5eed0c484c2c514

Introduction

Depression-related mood disorders affect millions of people worldwide and contribute to substantial morbidity and disability, yet little is known about the effects of work scheduling on depression. This study used a large Swedish survey to prospectively examine the effects of work schedule on registry-based antidepressant prescriptions in females and males over a 2-year period.

Methods

The study was based on an approximately representative sample (n=3980 males, 4663 females) of gainfully employed participants in the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health. Sex-stratified analyses were conducted using logistic regression. For exposure, eight categories described work schedule in 2008: ‘regular days’ (three categories of night work history: none, ≤3 years, 4+ years), ‘night shift work’, ‘regular shift work (no nights)’, ‘rostered work (no nights)’, ‘flexible/non-regulated hours’ and ‘other’. For the primary outcome measure, all prescriptions coded N06A according to the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical System were obtained from the Swedish National Prescribed Drug Register and dichotomised into ‘any’ or ‘no’ prescriptions between 2008 and 2010. Estimates were adjusted for potential sociodemographic, health and work confounders, and for prior depressive symptoms.

Results

In 2008, 22% of females versus 19% of males worked outside of regular daytime schedule. Registered antidepressant prescription rates in the postsurvey period were 11.4% for females versus 5.8% for males. In fully adjusted models, females in ‘flexible/non-regulated’ schedules showed an increased OR for prospective antidepressant prescriptions (OR=2.01, 95% CI=1.08 to 3.76). In males, odds ratios were most increased in those working ‘other’ schedules (OR=1.72, 95% CI=0.75 to 3.94) and ‘Regular days with four or more years’ history of night work’ (OR=1.54, 95% CI=0.93 to 2.56).

Conclusions

This study’s findings support a relationship between work schedule and prospective antidepressant prescriptions in the Swedish workforce. Future research should continue to assess sex-stratified relationships, using detailed shift work exposure categories and objective registry data where possible.

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<![CDATA[Can a tool developed for industry be used to assess fatigue risk in medical rotas? A pilot study of foundation doctors’ rotas in a tertiary centre]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9e5634d5eed0c48423d93b

Objectives

To determine the feasibility and ease of using a pre-existing health and safety executive fatigue risk calculator to assess doctors’ rotas.

Design

Observational.

Setting

A large tertiary-referral teaching hospital in the UK.

Participants

95 anonymised foundation years 1 and 2 rotas in General Medicine, General Surgery and Emergency Medicine covering a 4-month period. All rotas provided by rota coordinators were included and assessed.

Interventions

Rotas were assessed for two indices: relative risk of fatigue-related errors compared with a ‘2-day, two-night, four-off’ shift pattern and percentage chance of a high score on a standardised sleepiness scale.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

Fatigue index (percentage chance of a high score on a standardised sleepiness scale) and risk index (relative risk of fatigue-related errors compared with a ‘2-day, two-night, four-off’ shift pattern) of all shifts on all rotas.

Results

Nearly half of all shifts demonstrated increased risk of fatigue-related errors and increased probability of high levels of sleepiness. There was significant interspeciality variation in both indices. These results are based on rotas as opposed to ‘work as done’ and are therefore likely to slightly universally underestimate actual fatigue risks.

Conclusions

This preliminary study demonstrates that this tool can be used to compare rotas and guide rota design to minimise risk wherever possible. The calculator guidance clearly states there is no ‘ideal risk’ but that values should be minimised, and a maximum fatigue risk agreed which is deemed acceptable given the nature of work undertaken. This study is intended to demonstrate that fatigue can and should be considered during rota design. We do not suggest that it is used to hold either individuals or organisations to account as there is no evidence for it being used in this way. Further work should assess the practicality of designing medical rotas using this tool to minimise fatigue risk.

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<![CDATA[Association between exposure in the cement production industry and non-malignant respiratory effects: a systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bf50de8d5eed0c48486142a

Objectives

Based on findings from a systematic literature search, we present and discuss the evidence for an association between exposure to cement dust and non-malignant respiratory effects in cement production workers.

Design and setting

Systematic literature searches (MEDLINE and Embase) were performed. Outcomes were restricted to respiratory symptoms, lung function indices, asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumoconiosis, induced sputum or fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) measurements.

Participants

The studies included exposed cement production workers and non-exposed or low-exposed referents.

Primary and secondary outcomes

The searches yielded 594 references, and 26 articles were included. Cross-sectional studies show reduced lung function levels at or above 4.5 mg/m3 of total dust and 2.2 mg/m3 of respiratory dust. ORs for symptoms ranged from 1.2 to 4.8, while FEV1/FVC was 1–6% lower in exposed than in controls. Cohort studies reported a high yearly decline in FEV1/FVC ranging from 0.8% to 1.7% for exposed workers. 1 longitudinal study reported airflow limitation at levels of exposure comparable to ∼1 mg/m3 respirable and 3.7–5.4 mg/m3 total dust. A dose–response relationship between exposure and decline in lung function has only been shown in 1 cohort. 2 studies have detected small increases in FeNO levels during a work shift; 1 study reported signs of airway inflammation in induced sputum, whereas another did not detect an increase in hospitalisation rates.

Conclusions

Lack of power, adjustment for possible confounders and other methodological issues are limitations of many of the included studies. Hence, no firm conclusions can be drawn. There are few longitudinal data, but recent studies report a dose–response relationship between cement production dust exposure and declining lung function indicating a causal relationship, and underlining the need to reduce exposure among workers in this industry.

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<![CDATA[Cohort profile: LIFEWORK, a prospective cohort study on occupational and environmental risk factors and health in the Netherlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4b794f463d7e75da2403b0

Purpose

LIFEWORK is a large federated prospective cohort established in the Netherlands to quantify the health effects of occupational and environmental exposures. This cohort is also the Dutch contribution to the international Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health (COSMOS). In this paper, we describe the study design, ongoing data collection, baseline characteristics of participants and the repeatability of key questionnaire items.

Participants

88 466 participants were enrolled in three cohort studies in 2011–2012. Exposure information was collected by a harmonised core questionnaire, or modelled based on occupational and residential histories; domains include air pollution (eg, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter with diameter ≤2.5 µm (PM2.5)), noise, electromagnetic fields (EMF), mobile phone use, shift work and occupational chemical exposures. Chronic and subacute health outcomes are assessed by self-report and through linkage with health registries.

Findings to date

Participants had a median age of 51 years at baseline (range 19–87), and the majority are female (90%), with nurses being over-represented. Median exposure levels of NO2, PM2.5, EMF from base stations and noise at the participants’ home addresses at baseline were 22.9 µg/m3, 16.6 µg/m3, 0.003 mWm2 and 53.1 dB, respectively. Twenty-two per cent of participants reported to have started using a mobile phone more than 10 years prior to baseline. Repeatability for self-reported exposures was moderate to high (weighted kappa range: 0.69–1) for a subset of participants (n=237) who completed the questionnaire twice.

Future plans

We are actively and passively observing participants; we plan to administer a follow-up questionnaire every 4–5 years—the first follow-up will be completed in 2018—and linkage to cause-of-death and cancer registries occurs on a (bi)annual basis. This prospective cohort offers a unique, large and rich resource for research on contemporary occupational and environmental health risks and will contribute to the large international COSMOS study on mobile phone use and health.

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<![CDATA[Sleep quality of offshore wind farm workers in the German exclusive economic zone: a cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c19b146d5eed0c484c4c6d0

Objectives

To assess the quality of sleep of employees in the German offshore wind industry and to explore factors associated with poor sleep quality.

Design

Web-based cross-sectional survey.

Setting

Offshore companies operating in wind farms within the German exclusive economic zone.

Participants

Workers with regular offshore commitments and at least 28 days spent offshore in the past year (n=268).

Outcome measures

Sleep quality in the past 4 weeks, troubles falling asleep or sleeping through in the past 4 weeks, differences in sleep quality between offshore deployments and onshore leaves.

Results

Having problems with sleep onset was reported by 9.5% of the respondents. 16.5% reported troubles with maintaining sleep three or more times per week. The overall quality of sleep was rated as very bad by only 1.7% of the participants. 47.9% of the workers reported their quality of sleep to be worse during offshore commitments than when being onshore. Higher levels of exposition to noise, vibrations and poor air quality were associated with sleeping troubles and poorer sleep quality. Sharing the sleep cabin with colleagues was associated with troubles sleeping through. No association was found for working in rotating shifts and for regularity of the offshore commitments.

Conclusions

Workers in our study showed frequent sleep problems and poorer sleep quality offshore than onshore. Our results indicate that higher degrees of exposure to noise, vibrations and artificial ventilation are associated with poor sleep quality rather than organisational factors such as shift-work and type of working schedule. In view of the high demands of the offshore workplace and the workers’ particular recovery needs, addressing sleep disorders should be part of any health and safety management strategy for this workplace.

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<![CDATA[Risk of olfactory dysfunction of the workers in the automobile repair, printing, shoemaking and plating industries in Korea: a cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c19afbfd5eed0c484c47739

Objectives

The present study was performed to investigate the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction in workers exposed to hazardous substances in a variety of occupations in Korea.

Methods

We designed a cross-sectional study. The exposed group (n=296) consisted of Korean workers in the automobile repair, printing, shoemaking and plating industries and was compared with office workers (non-exposed group, n=99). A self-report questionnaire was administered to the subjects for demographic characteristics. In addition, olfactory function was evaluated using the Korean version of Sniffin’s Stick (KVSS) I and II test, which has been reported to be valid and reliable in Korean subjects. KVSS I score ≥7 or KVSS II score ≥30 was classified as normal, KVSS I score <7 or KVSS II score <30 was classified as oflactory dysfunction. The statistical analyses were performed with olfactory dysfunction as a dependent variable to calculate prevalence ratio (PR) of the exposed group.

Results

The prevalence of olfactory dysfunction was 21.2% in office, 45.1% in automobile repair, 69.7% in printing and 88.9% in shoemaking and plating workers. The adjusted PR was highest in plating (3.589, 95% CI 1.957 to 6.583), followed by shoemaking (3.136, 95% CI 1.763 to 5.579), printing (2.669, 95% CI 1.610 to 4.424) and automobile repair (1.914, 95% CI 1.105 to 3.317) workers.

Conclusions

In comparison with office workers, the prevalence of olfactory dysfunction and the PR of olfactory dysfunction were very high in the four occupational groups. This finding could be an important basis for establishing the olfactory dysfunction prevention policy for workers who are exposed to hazardous substances or work in high-risk occupations.

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<![CDATA[The association between childhood cognitive ability and adult long-term sickness absence in three British birth cohorts: a cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ac297dd463d7e5f9ef9e1ad

Objectives

The authors aimed to test the relationship between childhood cognitive function and long-term sick leave in adult life and whether any relationship was mediated by educational attainment, adult social class or adult mental ill-health.

Design

Cohort study.

Setting

The authors used data from the 1946, 1958 and 1970 British birth cohorts. Initial study populations included all live births in 1 week in that year. Follow-up arrangements have differed between the cohorts.

Participants

The authors included only those alive, living in the UK and not permanent refusals at the time of the outcome. The authors further restricted analyses to those in employment, full-time education or caring for a family in the sweep immediately prior to the outcome. 2894 (1946), 15 053 (1958) and 14 713 (1970) cohort members were included. Primary and secondary outcome measures: receipt of health-related benefits (eg, incapacity benefit) in 2000 and 2004 for the 1958 and 1970 cohorts, respectively, and individuals identified as ‘permanently sick or disabled’ in 1999 for 1946 cohort.

Results

After adjusting for sex and parental social class, better cognitive function at age 10/11 was associated with reduced odds of being long-term sick (1946: 0.70 (0.56 to 0.86), p=0.001; 1958: 0.69 (0.61 to 0.77), p<0.001; 1970: 0.80 (0.66 to 0.97), p=0.003). Educational attainment appeared to partly mediate the associations in all cohorts; adult social class appeared to have a mediating role in the 1946 cohort.

Conclusions

Long-term sick leave is a complex outcome with many risk factors beyond health. Cognitive abilities might impact on the way individuals are able to develop strategies to maintain their employment or rapidly find new employment when faced with a range of difficulties. Education should form part of the policy response to long-term sick leave such that young people are better equipped with skills needed in a flexible labour market.

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<![CDATA[A cross-sectional analysis of respiratory ill-health among charcoal workers and its implications for strengthening occupational health services in southern Nigeria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6db1fdd5eed0c48450e795

Objectives

This study was conducted to assess the concentration of air pollutants at charcoal sites, the dose-response relationship between site-based exposure levels to air pollutants and prevalence of respiratory symptoms among charcoal workers, and the measures these workers employ to safeguard their health.

Design

Cross-sectional but comparative design

Setting

Charcoal production kiln sites in Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria.

Participants

Overall 296 charcoal workers and age-matched, sex-matched and height-matched non-exposed traders (comparison group).

Primary and secondary outcome measures

The primary outcome measure was the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among charcoal workers while secondary outcomes included lung function indices as well as hazard control practices among charcoal workers.

Results

Majority (83.3%) of the sites had PM10 and PM2.5 values five times higher than the WHO standard. Charcoal workers were more likely to have respiratory symptoms; wheeze was statistically significant after adjusting for confounders, (OR 4.22; CI 1.37 to 12.99). The dose-response relationship between site-based exposure levels to air pollutants and the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among charcoal workers was statistically significant for all symptoms except chest tightness (p=0.167). Mean forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were considerably lower among workers with differences of −0.22 (−0.42 to −0.05) L and −0.52 (-0.76 to −0.29) L, respectively, whereas FEV1/FVC ratio and peak expiratory flow rate were higher among workers with mean differences of 5.68 (3.59–8.82)% and 0.31 (-23.70 to 24.43) L/min, respectively; but the mean difference was significant only for the FEV1/FVC ratio. Charcoal workers had poor hazard control practices; only 3.4% reportedly used personal protective equipment.

Conclusion

Air pollutants at kiln sites were higher than WHO standards. Despite the significantly higher prevalence of wheeze, chest tightness and chronic cough among charcoal workers, their hazard control practices were inadequate. Charcoal workers should adopt appropriate hazard control practices, and use improved devices which emit minimal pollutants.

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