Male infertility risk factors in a French military population.
We investigated infertility risk factors by conducting a population-based case-control study in the military population of the French town of Brest. Sixty couples who had sought medical advice for infertility of more than 12 months duration (cases) were compared with 165 couples who had had a child (controls). All the men in these couples had been employed by the military. The infertility risk factors studied were male and female medical factors, occupational and environmental exposures. We obtained age-adjusted odds ratios of 7.4 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.4--39.5] for testis surgery, and 13.0 for varicocele (95% CI: 1.4--120.3) in men. In logistic regression, the age-adjusted odds ratio for men who had worked in a nuclear submarine was found to be 2.0 (95% CI: 1.0--3.7), and that for heat exposure was 4.5 (95% CI: 1.9--10.6). One limitation of this study is the lack of exposure measurements, especially for potential exposure to nuclear radiation (type of reactor used in nuclear-powered submarines, inability to obtain personal dosimeters worn by military personnel working in nuclear submarines). In conclusion, this study suggests that in this military population, having worked as a submariner in a nuclear-powered submarine, and having worked in very hot conditions, should be considered as risk factors for infertility. (+info)
Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in United States Navy submarine crews.
Helicobacter pylori prevalence is elevated in German submarine crews and in United States Navy (USN) surface fleet personnel, but H. pylori prevalence in USN submariners was unknown. The goal of the study was to determine the prevalence of H. pylori in the crews of USN nuclear submarines compared to other military personnel and to the general US population. The presence of H. pylori IgG antibodies was determined in serum samples using a commercial ELISA. Only 47 out of 451 submariners (9.4%) were H. pylori positive, which is similar to that of the US general population with a similar level of education. In contrast, H. pylori prevalence is significantly higher in US Army recruits (26%), USN surface fleet personnel (25%), and German diesel submariners (38%). These data demonstrate that submarine service (and by inference activity requiring isolation and close contact, per se) is not a risk factor for H. pylori infection. (+info)
Pulmonary overinflation syndrome in an underwater logger.
Pulmonary overinflation syndrome (POIS) is a group of barotrauma-related diseases caused by the expansion of gas trapped in the lung, or over-pressurization of the lung with subsequent over-expansion and rupture of the alveolar air sacs. This group of disorders includes arterial gas embolism, tension pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema, subcutaneous emphysema and rarely pneumopericardium. In the case of diving activities, POIS is rarely reported and is frequently related to unsafe diving techniques. We report a classical case of POIS in an underwater logger while cutting trees for logs in Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu. The patient, a 24-year-old worker, made a rapid free ascent to the surface after his breathing equipment malfunctioned while he was working underwater. He suffered from bilateral tension pneumothoraces, arterial gas embolism giving rise to multiple cerebral and cerebellar infarcts, mediastinal and subcutaneous emphysema as well as pneumopericardium. He was treated in a recompression chamber with hyperbaric oxygen therapy and discharged with residual weakness in his right leg. (+info)
Oxygen or carbogen breathing before simulated submarine escape.
Raised internal pressure in a distressed submarine increases the risk of bubble formation and decompression illness after submarine escape. The hypothesis that short periods of oxygen breathing before submarine escape would reduce decompression stress was tested, using Doppler-detectable venous gas emboli as a measure. Twelve goats breathed oxygen for 15 min at 0.1 MPa before exposure to a simulated submarine escape profile to and from 2.5 MPa (240 m/seawater), whereas 28 control animals underwent the same dive without oxygen prebreathe. No decompression sickness (DCS) occurred in either of these two groups. Time with high bubble scores (Kisman-Masurel >or=3) was significantly (P < 0.001) shorter in the prebreathe group. In a second series, 30 goats breathed air at 0.2 MPa for 6 h. Fifteen minutes before escape from 2.5 MPa, animals were provided with either air (n = 10), oxygen (n = 12), or carbogen (97.5% O(2) and 2.5% CO(2)) gas (n = 8) as breathing gas. Animals breathed a hyperoxic gas (60% O(2)-40% N(2)) during the escape. Two animals (carbogen group) suffered oxygen convulsions during the escape but recovered on surfacing. Only one case of DCS occurred (carbogen group). The initial bubble score was reduced in the oxygen group (P < 0.001). The period with bubble score of Kisman-Masurel >or=3 was also significantly reduced in the oxygen group (P < 0.001). Oxygen breathing before submarine escape reduces initial bubble scores, although its significance in reducing central nervous system DCS needs to be investigated further. (+info)
Effects of seasonal vitamin D deficiency and respiratory acidosis on bone metabolism markers in submarine crewmembers during prolonged patrols.
Decreased vitamin B-6 status of submariners during prolonged patrol.
We investigated the effects of a 3-mo submarine patrol upon several vitamin B-6 indices in 23 male submariners. While on patrol, 12 subjects received a multivitamin-mineral supplement that provided 0.5 mg/d vitamin B-6 and 11 subjects received a placebo. The concentrations of plasma pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, total vitamin B-6, and urine 4-pyridoxic acid were significantly reduced during the patrol in both the placebo and the supplemented groups. The hematocrit of both groups also decreased by approximately 10% during the patrol and was not restored to prepatrol concentrations until several weeks postpatrol. Mood depressions, as measured by the Beck inventory and the depression adjective check list, were most pronounced during the 30 d before and at the beginning of the patrol. These depression measures did not correlate with the vitamin B-6 status indices, indicating that the mood depressions during a patrol do not appear to be related to the vitamin B-6 status of the submariners. (+info)