Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection in male adults in Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Pakistan. (1/40)

OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors associated with HCV infection in Islamabad-Rawalpindi. METHODS: Fifty-seven cases and 180 controls were enrolled from various departments of the nine major hospitals of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad during July-September 1998. Cases were enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) positive for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV), aged 20-70 years, and residents of Islamabad or Rawalpindi division. Controls were anti-HCV ELISA negatives of the same age range and from the same area. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on demographic variables and potential risk factors, which was analysed by logistic regression to calculate crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) for risk factors. RESULTS: The final multivariate logistic regression model revealed that after adjusting for age, cases were more likely to have received therapeutic injections in the past 10 years (1-10 vs. 0 therapeutic injections; adjusted OR=2.8, 95% CI: 1.1-7.1; > 10 vs. 0 therapeutic injections; adjusted OR=3.1, 95% CI: 1.2-7.9) and were significantly more likely to have daily face (adjusted OR=5.1, 95% CI: 1.5-17.0) and armpit shaves (adjusted OR=2.9, 95% CI: 1.3-6.5) by a barber. CONCLUSION: HCV control and prevention programs in this region should include safe injection practices and educate men about the risk of HCV infection from contaminated instruments used by barbers.  (+info)

Prevalence of airway symptoms among hairdressers in Bergen, Norway. (2/40)

OBJECTIVE: To assess respiratory symptoms among hairdressers in Norway. METHODS: The study was based on a questionnaire sent to 100 hairdressers (91% responding) and 95 office workers (84% responding). The questionnaire sought information about allergy, respiratory symptoms in the past year, and symptoms after exposures to different types of pollutants, working conditions, and smoking habits. A population based control group was established because the hairdressers and office workers differed in age and smoking habits. RESULTS: The prevalence of respiratory symptoms in the past year did not differ significantly between hairdressers and office workers after adjusting for age, atopy, and smoking. The hairdressers over 40 years of age reported significantly more symptoms-such as wheezing and breathlessness-in the past year than the office workers of the same age. Compared with the population based control group, both hairdressers younger than 30 and those over 40 reported more symptoms-such as breathlessness in the past year. The oldest hairdressers reported such symptoms as wheezing and breathlessness more often than did the younger hairdressers. These differences in breathlessness were significant after adjusting for smoking and wheezing. The same trend was not found among the office workers. The hairdressers reported significantly more wheezing, breathlessness, runny eyes, and blocked or runny nose from exposure to hair dyes, permanent oils, bleaching powder, and other chemicals used in a hairdressing salon, compared with the office workers. Prevalence of symptoms during exposure to other types of generel pollutants was similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Hairdressers are exposed to low levels of various irritating chemicals every day. The prevalences of acute symptoms related to the exposure of hairdressers to hairdressing chemicals are very high. Hairdressers, especially the oldest hairdressers, have more asthma-like symptoms than the control groups.  (+info)

Beauty and the beast: results of the Rhode Island smokefree shop initiative. (3/40)

Licensed hairdressing facilities are prevalent in communities nationwide and represent a unique and promising channel for delivering public health interventions. The Rhode Island Smokefree Shop Initiative tested the feasibility of using these facilities to deliver smoking policy interventions statewide. A statewide survey of hairdressing facilities was followed by interventions targeted to the readiness level (high/low) of respondents to adopt smoke-free policies.  (+info)

Reproductive outcome among female hairdressers. (4/40)

BACKGROUND: Working as a hairdresser involves exposure to a variety of chemical agents. AIMS: To estimate the risk of such exposure in relation to reproductive outcome. METHODS: A cohort of hairdressers, certified in Sweden from 1970 onwards, and a referent cohort of women from the general population were established and linked to the Swedish Medical Birth Register for the period 1973 to 1994. In the cohort of hairdressers 3706 women gave birth to 6960 infants. The corresponding numbers among the referents were 3462 and 6629. Questionnaires were sent to all hairdressers to obtain individual exposure data. The response rate was 65%. RESULTS: Compared with the referents, the hairdressers more often gave birth to infants that were small for gestational age (SGA). In addition, a higher fraction of the infants born to a hairdresser had a major malformation (2.8% v 2.1%). Frequent permanent waving and spraying tended to be associated with increased risk of having an SGA infant, whereas no clear association could be seen between the individual exposure assessments and malformation risk. CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that hairdressers have a slight increased risk of having intrauterine growth retarded infants and infants with major malformation compared with women from the general population. However, no clear associations were seen between individual exposure assessments and these outcomes.  (+info)

Healthy worker effect and changes in respiratory symptoms and lung function in hairdressing apprentices. (5/40)

AIMS: To compare the prevalence and incidence of respiratory symptoms and lung function values between hairdressing apprentices and office apprentices. METHODS: A total of 322 hairdressing apprentices and 277 office apprentices (controls) were studied. Two cross sectional surveys were conducted in 1994 and 1996/97 with longitudinal follow up for a subgroup of apprentices (191 hairdressing apprentices and 189 office apprentices). RESULTS: In the initial phase, the prevalence of respiratory symptoms was significantly lower among hairdressing apprentices than among office apprentices. Lung function test results showed significantly higher values for hairdressing apprentices. Non-specific bronchial reactivity was similar in the two groups. In the final phase, results for respiratory symptoms were similar. The incidence of respiratory symptoms was not significantly different between hairdressing apprentices and office apprentices. Subjects who dropped out had lower values for FVC and FEV1 in the initial phase than those who completed the final phase. There was a significant deterioration of FEV1 and FEF25-75% in hairdressing apprentices compared to office apprentices. There was a link between atopy and the incidence of most of the respiratory symptoms (day/night cough, wheezing, dyspnoea, mucosal hyperresponsiveness) and between smoking and the incidence of bronchial hyperreactivity. There was no significant correlation between change in lung function tests and specific hairdressing activities reported at the end of the apprenticeship or with environmental working conditions in hairdressing salons. CONCLUSIONS: Although a healthy worker effect can be suspected, results showed a significant deterioration of baseline values of lung function tests in the hairdressing apprentice group. However, no clear link was shown between change in lung function tests and specific parameters of occupational activities.  (+info)

Human exposure assessment and relief from neuropsychiatric symptoms: case study of a hairdresser. (6/40)

Human exposure assessment and the results of implementing 'precautionary avoidance' suggested a relationship between a hairdresser's neuropsychiatric symptoms and occupational exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals. A variety of investigations in response to patient complaints of depression, emotional instability and various physical symptoms revealed no objective abnormality; the CH2OPD2 mnemonic (community, home, hobbies, occupation, personal habits, diet and drugs) recommended by the Ontario College of Family Physicians was used as a first-line screening tool to assess potential environmental exposure to toxins. After occupational leave of absence, the patient reported cessation of symptoms. Environmental causes for familiar medical problems are frequently undiagnosed; it is recommended that, where appropriate, a screening tool for evaluation of environmental exposure to toxics be incorporated into primary care assessment and management of patients.  (+info)

Validation of specific inhalation challenge for the diagnosis of occupational asthma due to persulphate salts. (7/40)

BACKGROUND: The significant value of tests used to certify the diagnosis of occupational asthma due to persulphate salts remains uncertain. AIMS: To validate the specific inhalation challenge (SIC) test for the diagnosis of occupational asthma. METHODS: Eight patients with occupational asthma due to persulphate salts, eight patients with bronchial asthma who were never exposed to persulphate salts, and ten healthy subjects were studied. Clinical history taking, spirometry, bronchial challenge with methacholine, skin prick testing to common inhalant allergens and persulphate salts, total IgE levels, and SIC to potassium persulphate were carried out in all subjects. The SIC used increasing concentrations of potassium persulphate (5, 10, 15, and 30 g) mixed with 150 g of lactose. Patients tipped the mixture from one tray to another at a distance of 30 cm from the face for 10 minutes in a challenge booth. RESULTS: The SIC was positive in all subjects with persulphate induced asthma and in one patient with bronchial asthma who had never been exposed to persulphate salts. Sensitivity was 100% (95% CI 67.6 to 100) and specificity was 87.5% (95% CI 52.9-97.8) when patients with occupational asthma due to persulphate salts were compared with those with bronchial asthma never exposed to persulphate salts. CONCLUSIONS: SIC to persulphate salts performed according to the protocol described appears to be useful for the diagnosis of occupational asthma secondary to inhalation of this substance.  (+info)

Epidemiologic study of chronic hepatitis B virus infection in male volunteer blood donors in Karachi, Pakistan. (8/40)

BACKGROUND: The magnitude of chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) varies substantially between the countries. A better understanding of incidence and/ or prevalence of HBV infection and associated risk factors provides insight into the transmission of this infection in the community. The purpose of this investigation was to estimate the prevalence of and to identify the risk factors associated with chronic infection with HBV, as assessed by HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity, in asymptomatic volunteer male blood donors in Karachi, Pakistan. METHODS: Consecutive blood donations made at the two large blood banks between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2002 were assessed to estimate the prevalence of HBsAg positivity. To evaluate the potential risk factors, a case-control study design was implemented; cases (HBsAg positives) and controls (HBsAg negatives), were recruited between October 15, 2001 and March 15, 2002. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was administered through trained interviewers to collect the data on hypothesized risk factors for HBV infection. Sera were tested for HBsAg using commercially available kits for enzyme linked Immunosorbant assay-III. RESULTS: HBsAg prevalence in the male volunteer blood donors was 2.0 % (7048/351309). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that after adjusting for age and ethnicity, cases were significantly more likely than controls to have received dental treatment from un-qualified dental care provider (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 9.8; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.1, 46.1), have received 1-5 injections (adjusted OR = 3.3; 95% CI: 1.1, 9.6), more than 5 injections (adjusted OR = 1.4; 95% CI: 1.4, 12.7) during the last five years or have received injection through a glass syringe (adjusted OR = 9.4; 95% CI: 2.6, 34.3). Injury resulted in bleeding during shaving from barbers (adjusted OR = 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1, 4.8) was also significant predictor of HBsAg positivity. CONCLUSION: Prevalence of HBsAg positivity in the male volunteer blood donors in Karachi was 2%. Infection control measures in health-care settings including safe injection practices and proper sterilization techniques of medical instruments and education of barbers about the significance of sterilization of their instruments may reduce the burden of HBV infection in this and similar settings. There is also an urgent need of developing locally relevant guidelines for counseling and management of HBsAg positive blood donors.  (+info)