BACKGROUND: The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate the burden of disability and death in men, from middle age to age of retirement, among occupational groups and classes in Geneva. METHODS: Men were included if they resided in the Canton of Geneva, were 45 years of age in 1970-1972, and were not receiving a disability pension at the start of the follow-up. The cohort of 5137 men was followed up for 20 years and linked to national registers of disability pension allowance and of causes of death. RESULTS: There was a steep upward trend in incidence of permanent work incapacity with lower social class for all causes as well as for the seven causes of disability studied. Compared with professional occupations (social class I), the relative risk (RR) of permanent work incapacity was 11.4 for partly skilled and unskilled occupations (class IV+V) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.2-28.0). The social class gradient in mortality was in the same direction as that in work incapacity although much less steep (RR class IV+V to class I = 1.6, 95% CI : 1.1-2.2). Survival without work incapacity at the time of the 65th birthday ranged from only 57% in construction workers and labourers to 89% in science and related professionals. Unemployment in Geneva was below 1.5% during almost all the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Medically-ascertained permanent work incapacity and survival without work incapacity have shown considerably greater socioeconomic differentials than the mortality differentials. (+info)
(2/1702) Failing firefighters: a survey of causes of death and ill-health retirement in serving firefighters in Strathclyde, Scotland from 1985-94.
During the decade beginning 1 January 1985, 887 full-time firefighters, all male, left the service of Strathclyde Fire Brigade (SFB). There were 17 deaths--compared to 64.4 expected in the Scottish male population aged 15-54 years--giving a standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 26, and 488 ill-health retirements (IHR). None of the deaths was attributable to service, the major causes being: myocardial infarction--five, (expected = 17.3; SMR = 29); cancers--three (colon, kidney and lung) (expected = 13.6; SMR = 22); road traffic accidents--two (expected = 4.17; SMR = 48) and suicide--two (expected = 4.9; SMR = 41). Amalgamating the deaths and IHRs showed that the six most common reasons for IHR were musculoskeletal (n = 202, 40%), ocular (n = 61, 12.1%), 'others' (n = 58, 11.5%), injuries (n = 50, 9.9%), heart disease (n = 48, 9.5%) and mental disorders (n = 45, 8.9%). Over 300 IHRs (over 60%) occurred after 20 or more years service. When the IHRs were subdivided into two quinquennia, there were 203 and 302 in each period. Mean length of service during each quinquennium was 19.4 vs. 21.3 years (p = 0.003) and median length was 21 years in both periods; interquartile range was 12-26 years in the first and 17-27 years in the second period (p = 0.002), but when further broken down into diagnostic categories, the differences were not statistically significant, with the exception of means of IHRs attributed to mental disorders (14.5 vs. 19 years, p = 0.03). (+info)
(3/1702) Sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse among university employees: prevalence and mental health correlates.
OBJECTIVES: This study hypothesized that interpersonal workplace stressors involving sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse are highly prevalent and significantly linked with mental health outcomes including symptomatic distress, the use and abuse of alcohol, and other drug use. METHODS: Employees in 4 university occupational groups (faculty, student, clerical, and service workers; n = 2492) were surveyed by means of a mailed self-report instrument. Cross-tabular and ordinary least squares and logistic regression analyses examined the prevalence of harassment and abuse and their association with mental health status. RESULTS: The data show high rates of harassment and abuse. Among faculty, females were subjected to higher rates; among clerical and service workers, males were subjected to higher rates. Male and female clerical and service workers experienced higher levels of particularly severe mistreatment. Generalized abuse was more prevalent than harassment for all groups. Both harassment and abuse were significantly linked to most mental health outcomes for men and women. CONCLUSIONS: Interpersonally abusive workplace dynamics constitute a significant public health problem that merits increased intervention and prevention strategies. (+info)
(4/1702) Low mortality rates in industrial cohort studies due to selection for work and survival in the industry.
Occupational groups are often described as being relatively healthy because their mortality rates are lower than those of the national average. Although correct this confuses the issue for those who are interested in assessing the effects of exposure to a particular chemical. In a further analysis of data collected in a study of all men ever exposed to vinyl chloride monomer in the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride in Great Britain, three factors have been shown to contribute to the low mortality rates that were observed. The three factors: the selection of a healthy population for employment, the survival in the industry of the healthier men, and the length of time that this population has been pursued, have been quantified. The mortality experience within five years of entering this industry was shown to be as low as 37% of that expected; for circulatory disease and respiratory disease it was as low as 21%. There was a progressive increase in standardized mortality ratio with the length of time since entry so that the effect had almost disappeared 15 years after entry. To avoid confounding the selection effect with the survival effect the latter was measured by separating men who survived 15 years after entering the industry according to whether or not they were still in the industry after this period. Those who had left experienced an overall standardized mortality ratio some 50% higher than those still in the industry. This effect, although consistent in the age groups between 25 and 74 years and for all cause groups studied, was greatest in those aged between 25 and 44 years and for lung cancer and respiratory disease. (+info)
(5/1702) Adrenosympathetic overactivity under conditions of work stress.
Serial measurements of urinary adrenaline, noradrenaline, and 11-hydroxycorticosteroid excretion were performed on 32 healthy men under two conditions of work stress; piecework and work on assembly line. A statistically significant increase in adrenaline, noradrenaline, and 11-hydroxycorticosteroids was observed for piecework and assembly line workers compared with salaried and 'ordinary' workers. The results support the assumption that psychosocial factors of an everyday type have significant effects on the sympathoadrenomedullary and adrenocortical function. (+info)
(6/1702) Dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle and sports activity.
The study objectives were to examine the dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle in athletes, and investigate its association with participation in sport. The study comprised 168 active competitive non-pregnant athletes, aged 14-24 years. The dynamic strength of their quadriceps muscle was measured, and they answered a questionnaire about sports activity and occupation. The dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle was significantly higher in men than in women, and was positively associated with body weight, years of jogging, years of soccer, and weekly hours of basketball. In conclusion, the dynamic strength of the quadriceps muscle seems to be associated with sports activity. The results suggest sport specific adaptation, which may reflect high levels of running and jumping activity. (+info)
(7/1702) An investigation of factors contributing to styrene and styrene-7,8-oxide exposures in the reinforced-plastics industry.
During the manufacturing of reinforced plastics, large amounts of styrene and trace quantities of styrene-7,8-oxide (SO) are released. Since previous work suggests that inhalation of even small amounts of SO might be an important health risk, we investigated several possible factors contributing to styrene and SO exposure during the manufacture of reinforced plastics. Factors related to job type, worker and the type and quantity of styrene-containing resins were investigated using mixed-effects multiple linear regression models. Overall, SO exposure levels were positively correlated with styrene exposure levels. However, this correlation was statistically significant only among hand laminators who had the highest exposures to both styrene and SO. An important factor for predicting both styrene and SO concentrations was the type of resin used, while the quantity of resin consumed was predictive of styrene but not of SO exposure. Since So exposure appears to be associated with factors other than coexposure to styrene, more effort should be placed on investigating emissions of SO per se. The type of mixed-models regression analysis employed in this study can be used for clarifying the underlying patterns for exposures to styrene and SO as well as for evaluating preventive measures. (+info)
(8/1702) Comparative personal exposures to organic dusts and endotoxin.
The aims of the study were to provide valid comparative data for personal exposures to dust and endotoxins for different occupations and to calculate comparative data for the contamination of organic dusts with endotoxin. Nine different occupational settings were studied, drawn from the textile, agricultural and animal handling industries. Samples were collected by personal sampling techniques, using the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) sampling head, glass fibre filters and rechargeable sampling pumps. The dust exposures were calculated by gravimetric analysis and using the calculated volume of air sampled were expressed as mg/m3. Endotoxin exposures were measured using a simple water extraction from the collected dusts, followed by a quantitative turbidimetric assay. Results were expressed as ng/m3, using the calculated volume of air sampled. In addition, the levels of the contamination of dusts with endotoxin for individual industries were expressed as ng/mg of collected dust. Two hundred and fifty-nine samples, collected from 9 different industries and across 36 different sites were analysed. This represented a sampling rate of 25% for the total work force. The average sampling time was 4.62 h. For all the dusts collected, a significant correlation between the collected dust and endotoxin was seen (r = 0.7 and p < 0.001). The highest dust exposures occurred during cleaning activities (grain handling: 72.5 mg/m3). The individuals exposed to the highest median level of dust and endotoxin were the animal handlers (poultry handlers, dust: 11.53 mg/m3, endotoxin: 71,995 ng/m3). Weaving and mushroom cultivation had the lowest exposures for dust and endotoxins. The mostly highly contaminated dusts (median values expressed as ng of endotoxin per mg of collected dust) were found in the animal handling (poultry: 1,030 ng/mg, swine: 152 ng/mg) and cotton spinning (522 ng/mg) industries. Processing of cotton and wool fibres was found to reduce the levels of contamination of dusts with endotoxin. In the study, valid comparative data for personal exposures to organic dusts and endotoxins have been presented. The highest exposures were found amongst animal handlers and during cleaning activities. The results highlight that dust exposures are greater in a number of industries than the set exposure standards. In addition, endotoxin exposures are found to be greater than levels at which harmful effects have been demonstrated. (+info)