(73/7118) Injuries in Pakistan: directions for future health policy.

Injuries result in major financial and productivity losses to nations while inflicting tremendous personal burden on the injured and their families. Two-thirds of the global deaths from injuries occur in the developing world, consuming substantial health sector resources. Pakistan is a developing country with a population of 136 million and no reported estimate of the national impact of injuries. This study presents a profile of injuries in Pakistan, estimates the impact on the country and recommends strategies to further delineate this important public health problem. A methodical review of published, unpublished and government literature was undertaken and data collected for all types of injuries principally over the 1982-1994 period. Motor vehicle injuries, homicides, assaults, work-related injuries, poisonings and risk factors have been included. Selected epidemiological estimates have been generated and the WHO motorization index has been used to assess road-side accident risk. The lack of reliable data and under-reporting of work-related injuries is revealing. The rising time trend in all injuries, the significant loss of life from injuries and the age of those injured have a critical impact on the national economy and health system. Data on injuries in Pakistan are primarily recorded by police authorities and used for legal purposes. Pakistan must institute an information system to evaluate the true impact of injuries and develop national safety standards. Implementation of such standards is especially important for road traffic safety and occupational health in industrial units within the country.  (+info)

(74/7118) High-risk occupations for breast cancer in the Swedish female working population.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to estimate, for the period 1971 through 1989, occupation-specific risks of breast cancer among Swedish women employed in 1970. METHODS: Age-period standardized incidence ratios were computed. Log-linear Poisson models were fitted, with geographical area and town size taken into account. Risks were further adjusted for major occupational group, used as a proxy for socioeconomic status. Risk estimators were also calculated for women reporting the same occupation in 1960 and 1970. RESULTS: Most elevated risks among professionals, managers, and clerks were reduced when intragroup comparisons were carried out, indicating the confounding effect of socioeconomic status. Excess risks were found for pharmacists, teachers of theoretical subjects, schoolmasters, systems analysts and programmers, telephone operators, telegraph and radio operators, metal platers and coaters, and hairdressers and beauticians, as well as for women working in 1960 and 1970 as physicians, religious workers, social workers, bank tellers, cost accountants, and telephonists. CONCLUSIONS: While the high risks observed among professional, administrative, and clerical workers might be related to lower birth rates and increased case detection, excess risks found for telephone workers and for hairdressers and beauticians deserve further attention.  (+info)

(75/7118) Shift work, risk factors and cardiovascular disease.

The literature on shift work, morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease, and changes in traditional risk factors is reviewed. Seventeen studies have dealt with shift work and cardiovascular disease risk. On balance, shift workers were found to have a 40% increase in risk. Causal mechanisms of this risk via known cardiovascular risk factors, in relation to circadian rhythms, disturbed sociotemporal patterns, social support, stress, behavior (smoking, diet, alcohol, exercise), and biochemical changes (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc) are discussed. The risk is probably multifactorial, but the literature has focused on the behavior of shift workers and has neglected other possible causal connections. In most studies methodological problems are present; these problems are related to selection bias, exposure classification, outcome classification, and the appropriateness of comparison groups. Suggestions for the direction of future research on this topic are proposed.  (+info)

(76/7118) Relationship between shift work and onset of hypertension in a cohort of manual workers.

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the possibility of a relationship between blood pressure level and rotating 3-shift work in a prospective follow-up of workers in a zipper and aluminum sash factory in Japan. METHODS: Altogether 1551 men aged 18-49 years were followed prospectively for 5 years, and the cumulative incidence of hypertension among 3-shift workers was compared with that of day workers. A multiple logistic analysis was used for adjusting for base-line characteristics such as age, body mass index, blood pressure, and drinking habit. RESULTS: In the younger age group, the relative risk of the rotating 3-shift workers during the observational period was increased compared with that of day workers after adjustment for the confounding factors. In the older group, the cumulative incidence of hypertension was not higher for workers who had continued shift work. However, a relatively high risk of hypertension was found for workers who converted from 3-shift work to day work when compared with those who remained on shift work and day work. CONCLUSIONS: It is suggested that there is an association between 3-shift work and blood pressure.  (+info)

(77/7118) Validation of a questionnaire for assessing physical work load.

OBJECTIVES: Reliable, valid, and compatible methods are required for exploring the complex interactive effects of psychosocial and physical stressors on complaints and disorders. An instrument for assessing physical work load that integrates information from a biomechanical model of lumbar load is presented and validated. METHODS: Four hundred and fifty-five people working in nursing homes for elderly people in Germany filled out the developed questionnaire 3 times within 1 year. Test-retest reliability was calculated, and validity was checked several times. Relationships with other, theoretically related and unrelated variables were examined. RESULTS: The test-retest reliability of the questionnaire measures was about 0.65. The convergent and discriminant validity was satisfactory, and the questionnaire was able to separate professional subgroups with different physical work loads. The Spearman rank-order correlations between physical load and musculoskeletal complaints were about 0.30. CONCLUSIONS: The method developed in this study is a reliable and valid instrument for assessing physical work load. The integration of statistical methods from psychological testing and theory in the development of methods exploring the effects of physical work load is advocated.  (+info)

(78/7118) Agreement between symptom surveys, physical examination procedures and electrodiagnostic findings for the carpal tunnel syndrome.

OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to evaluate the concordance between various clinical screening procedures for carpal tunnel syndrome. METHODS: The subject population consisted of 824 workers from 6 facilities. The evaluated procedures included bilateral sensory nerve conduction testing, physical examinations, and symptom surveys, including hand diagrams. The agreement between the outcomes of various combinations of these procedures was assessed by determining the kappa coefficient. RESULTS: There was relatively poor overlap between the reported symptoms, the physical examination findings, and the electrodiagnostic results consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome. Overall, only 23 out of 449 subjects (5%) with at least 1 positive finding met all 3 criteria (symptoms, physical examination findings, and electrophysiological results consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome) for the dominant hand. The screening procedures showed poor or no agreement with kappa values ranging between 0.00 and 0.18 for all the case definitions evaluated for carpal tunnel syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: The poor overlap between the various screening procedures warns against the use of electrodiagnostic findings alone without the symptom presentation being considered. The results of this study also point to a need for the further development and evaluation of methods for detecting carpal tunnel syndrome.  (+info)

(79/7118) Hypersensitivity pneumonitis among workers cultivating Tricholoma conglobatum (shimeji).

We report five cases of hypersensitivity pneumonitis among workers cultivating Tricholoma conglobatum (shimeji). After having worked for 5 to 20 years, they began to notice symptoms of cough, sputum, and dyspnea. They were diagnosed as having a hypersensitivity pneumonitis based on clinical features, bronchoalveolar lavage and transbronchial lung biopsy. By the double immunodiffusion test, precipitating lines between shimeji spore antigen and sera were observed in all of the patients. By enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the antibody activities against shimeji and three species of fungi (Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Penicillium frequentans, and Scopulariopsis species) were significantly higher in the sera of the patients than in those of normal subjects who were cultivating shimeji. Although it is not clear what causes this disease, these findings may be helpful in determining the specific antigen.  (+info)

(80/7118) Illnesses associated with occupational use of flea-control products--California, Texas, and Washington, 1989-1997.

Dips, shampoos, and other insecticide-containing flea-control products can produce systemic illnesses or localized symptoms in the persons applying them. Although these products may pose a risk to consumers, they are particularly hazardous to pet groomers and handlers who use them regularly. Illnesses associated with flea-control products were reported to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Texas Department of Health, and the Washington State Department of Health, each of which maintains a surveillance system for identifying, investigating, and preventing pesticide-related illnesses and injuries. This report describes cases of occupational illnesses associated with flea-control products, summarizes surveillance data, and provides recommendations for handling these products safely.  (+info)