Traumatic vasospastic disease in chain-saw operators.
Raynaud's phenomenon is commonly induced in chain-saw operators by vibration; the hand guiding the tool is the more severely affected. The condition tends to persist after use of the chain-saw is stopped but compensation is rarely sought. Among 17 cases of Raynaud's phenomenon in lumberjacks the condition was found to be related to use of the chain-saw in 14, 10 of whom had to give up their work in colder weather because the disease was so disabling. Two criteria essential to establish the condition as vibration-induced Raynaud's phenomenon are the presence of symptoms for at least 2 years and a history of at least 1 year's constant use of the chain-saw. Careful physical examination and simple tests of vascular function will provide objective evidence of permanent damage by which the patients may be classified and compensated. (+info)
Contact dermatitis in Alstroemeria workers.
Hand dermatitis is common in workers in the horticultural industry. This study determined the prevalence of hand dermatitis in workers of Alstroemeria cultivation, investigated how many workers had been sensitized by tulipalin A (the allergen in Alstroemeria) and took stock of a wide range of determinants of hand dermatitis. The 12-month period prevalence of major hand dermatitis amounted to 29.5% whereas 7.4% had minor dermatitis. Of these workers, 52.1% were sensitized for tulipalin A. Several personal and work-related determinants played a role in the multifactorial aetiology of hand dermatitis. Factors which showed a significant relationship with major hand dermatitis were: female sex, atopic dermatitis, chapped hands and the frequency of washing hands. It may be concluded that the Alstroemeria workers are a population at risk of developing contact dermatitis and it might be useful to carry out an educational campaign to lower the high prevalence. (+info)
Respiratory symptoms among glass bottle workers--cough and airways irritancy syndrome?
Glass bottle workers have been shown to experience an excess of respiratory symptoms. This work describes in detail the symptoms reported by a cohort of 69 symptomatic glass bottle workers. Symptoms, employment history and clinical investigations including radiology, spirometry and serial peak expiratory flow rate records were retrospectively analyzed from clinical records. The results showed a consistent syndrome of work-related eye, nose and throat irritation followed after a variable period by shortness of breath. The latent interval between starting work and first developing symptoms was typically 4 years (median = 4 yrs; range = 0-28). The interval preceding the development of dysponea was longer and much more variable (median = 16 yrs; range = 3-40). Spirometry was not markedly abnormal in the group but 57% of workers had abnormal serial peak expiratory flow rate charts. Workers in this industry experience upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms consistent with irritant exposure. The long-term functional significance of these symptoms should be formally investigated. (+info)
The Sock Test for evaluating activity limitation in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Assessment within rehabilitation often must reflect patients' perceived functional problems and provide information on whether these problems are caused by impairments of the musculoskeletal system. Such capabilities were examined in a new functional test, the Sock Test, simulating the activity of putting on a sock. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Intertester reliability was examined in 21 patients. Concurrent validity, responsiveness, and predictive validity were examined in a sample of 337 patients and in subgroups of this sample. RESULTS: Intertester reliability was acceptable. Sock Test scores were related to concurrent reports of activity limitation in dressing activities. Scores also reflected questionnaire-derived reports of problems in a broad range of activities of daily living and pain and were responsive to change over time. Increases in age and body mass index increased the likelihood of Sock Test scores indicating activity limitation. Pretest scores were predictive of perceived difficulties in dressing activities after 1 year. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: Sock Test scores reflect perceived activity limitations and restrictions of the musculoskeletal system. (+info)
Special medical examination program reform proposal in Korea.
We are at a time when reform in the special medical examination program in keeping with the changing times is desperately needed because the common perception of workers, employers, and medical examination facilities is "special medical examination is merely ritualistic and unproductive." Therefore, we have tried to set forth the basic structure for reforming the special medical examination program by taking a close look at the management status of the current program and analyzing its problems. The specifics of the special medical examination program reform proposal consist of three parts such as the types, health evaluation based on occupational medicine, and the interval, subject selection, items and procedure. Pre-placement medical examination and non-periodic medical examinations-as-necessary are introduced newly. Health evaluation based on occupational medicine consists of classification of health status, evaluation of work suitability, and post-examination measure. Details regarding the medical examination interval, subject selection, items and procedure were changed. (+info)
Should a history section be included on the National Youth Sports Program preparticipation physical examination?
The National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) is an annual event sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association that provides structured sports and enrichment programs to youth of low socioeconomic status. As part of the program, youths undergo a free medical examination that uses a physical examination checklist but does not include a section on medical history. To determine what additional information a medical history would provide, a history form was used in conjunction with the regular preparticipation examination for participants in the 1996 NYSP at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The history form provided information such as family history of sudden death, personal history of asthma or bone injury, and whether participants took medications or used corrective lenses. Seventy-nine percent of the completed history forms documented a positive response to at least one question. Of these, only 5% had physical findings on examination. Conversely, 15% of participants had physical findings that were not reported on the history form. Because much of what is discovered by a medical history often is not found on physical examination and because history information can be used to prevent the occurrence of an accident or illness, this study suggests that the use of such a form is beneficial in providing a more comprehensive screening. (+info)
American Society of Clinical Oncology 1998 update of recommended breast cancer surveillance guidelines.
OBJECTIVE: To determine an effective, evidence-based, postoperative surveillance strategy for the detection and treatment of recurrent breast cancer. Tests are recommended only if they have an impact on the outcomes specified by American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for clinical practice guidelines. POTENTIAL INTERVENTION: All tests described in the literature for postoperative monitoring were considered. In addition, the data were critically evaluated to determine the optimal frequency of monitoring. OUTCOME: Outcomes of interest include overall and disease-free survival, quality of life, toxicity reduction, and secondarily cost-effectiveness. EVIDENCE: A search was performed to determine all relevant articles published over the past 20 years on the efficacy of surveillance testing for breast cancer recurrence. These publications comprised both retrospective and prospective studies. VALUES: Levels of evidence and guideline grades were rated by a standard process. More weight was given to studies that tested a hypothesis directly relating testing to one of the primary outcomes in a randomized design. BENEFITS, HARMS, AND COSTS: The possible consequences of false-positive and -negative tests were considered in evaluating a preference for one of two tests providing similar information. Cost alone was not a determining factor. RECOMMENDATIONS: The attached guidelines and text summarize the updated recommendations of the ASCO breast cancer expert panel. Data are sufficient to recommend monthly breast self-examination, annual mammography of the preserved and contralateral breast, and a careful history and physical examination every 3 to 6 months for 3 years, then every 6 to 12 months for 2 years, then annually. Data are not sufficient to recommend routine bone scans, chest radiographs, hematologic blood counts, tumor markers (carcinoembryonic antigen, cancer antigen [CA] 15-5, and CA 27.29), liver ultrasonograms, or computed tomography scans. VALIDATION: The recommendations of the breast cancer expert panel were evaluated and supported by the ASCO Health Services Research Committee reviewers and the ASCO Board of Directors. (+info)
An analysis of digital rectal examination and serum-prostate-specific antigen in the early detection of prostate cancer in general practice.
BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is now the commonest cancer in men and the second commonest cause of death from cancer. However, general-practice-based research on prostate cancer remains scanty. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to examine the acceptability of digital rectal examination (DRE) and serum-prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the early detection of prostate cancer in a general practice setting. Another aim was to ascertain the incidence of prostate cancer among 50-79-year-old men in the solo practice. METHODS: We conducted an opportunistic, prospective, population-based study involving men with no prior, proven history of prostate cancer. RESULTS: A total of 211 (87.6%) out of 241 targeted patients agreed to take part in the study. Abnormal DREs were found in 9%, while 9.5% of PSA tests were found to be abnormal. One or both tests were abnormal in 29 patients-13.7% of the study population. Eleven biopsies were performed during the study, with cancer detected in three (27.3%)-1.4% of the total population. Eighteen patients were not biopsied either on clinical grounds or by personal choice. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of abnormal DRE and PSA tests was lower than that detected in previous hospital or specialist-based studies. Both tests were found to be highly acceptable to the population studied. Not all patients with abnormal early detection tests need necessarily proceed to further invasive investigations. (+info)