Does risk factor epidemiology put epidemiology at risk? Peering into the future.
The multiple cause black box paradigm of the current risk factor era in epidemiology is growing less serviceable. This single level paradigm is likely to be displaced. The signs are that the growing strength of molecular epidemiology on the one side, and of a global epidemiology based on information systems on the other, will come to dominate epidemiology and segregate it into separate disciplines. At the same time, the links with public health interests grow weaker. A multilevel ecoepidemiology has the potential to bind these strands together. (+info)
Hepatitis B--are surgeons putting patients at risk?
The 1993 Department of Health guidelines permit a surgeon who is hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive but e-antigen (HBeAg) negative to perform exposure prone procedures, unless demonstrated to have infected patients. However, there is increasing evidence of transmission of hepatitis B to patients from health care workers in this supposedly low infectivity category. The Occupational Physician must decide whether existing guidelines represent an adequate risk assessment and indeed whether this is an acceptable risk for patients. If an NHS Trust continues to follow these guidelines it may be in breach of its duty of care to patients. Yet refusing to allow such carriers to operate without testing for additional serological markers may be unlawful discrimination. Further research is clearly needed as well as an urgent review of the guidelines. (+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)
Irritant contact dermatitis due to 1-bromo-3-chloro-5,5-dimethylhydantoin in a hydrotherapy pool. Risk assessments: the need for continuous evidence-based assessments.
A physiotherapist working in hydrotherapy presented to occupational health with irritant contact dermatitis. Subsequent investigation revealed that the likely causative agent was 1-bromo 3-chloro 5,5 dimethylhydantoin which was used to disinfect the hydrotherapy pool. A COSHH risk assessment had been performed which failed to take full account of current knowledge and this agent had been introduced into the workplace. The development of adverse health effects among staff and other pool users lead to a review of this risk assessment and eventually a return to less hazardous chlorine-based disinfection. Had an evidence-based approach been combined with an appropriate COSHH assessment prior to and following changes in the workplace then unnecessary risk to employees would not have occurred. (+info)
Validation of the Rockall risk scoring system in upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
BACKGROUND: Several scoring systems have been developed to predict the risk of rebleeding or death in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB). These risk scoring systems have not been validated in a new patient population outside the clinical context of the original study. AIMS: To assess internal and external validity of a simple risk scoring system recently developed by Rockall and coworkers. METHODS: Calibration and discrimination were assessed as measures of validity of the scoring system. Internal validity was assessed using an independent, but similar patient sample studied by Rockall and coworkers, after developing the scoring system (Rockall's validation sample). External validity was assessed using patients admitted to several hospitals in Amsterdam (Vreeburg's validation sample). Calibration was evaluated by a chi2 goodness of fit test, and discrimination was evaluated by calculating the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. RESULTS: Calibration indicated a poor fit in both validation samples for the prediction of rebleeding (p<0.0001, Vreeburg; p=0.007, Rockall), but a better fit for the prediction of mortality in both validation samples (p=0.2, Vreeburg; p=0.3, Rockall). The areas under the ROC curves were rather low in both validation samples for the prediction of rebleeding (0.61, Vreeburg; 0.70, Rockall), but higher for the prediction of mortality (0.73, Vreeburg; 0.81, Rockall). CONCLUSIONS: The risk scoring system developed by Rockall and coworkers is a clinically useful scoring system for stratifying patients with acute UGIB into high and low risk categories for mortality. For the prediction of rebleeding, however, the performance of this scoring system was unsatisfactory. (+info)
Risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon.
OBJECTIVES: To identify risk factors for injuries and other health problems occurring during or immediately after participation in a marathon. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was undertaken of participants in the 1993 Auckland Citibank marathon. Demographic data, information on running experience, training and injuries, and information on other lifestyle factors were obtained from participants before the race using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Information on injuries and other health problems sustained during or immediately after the marathon were obtained by a self administered questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were undertaken to identify significant risk factors for health problems. RESULTS: This study, one of only a few controlled epidemiological studies that have been undertaken of running injuries, has identified a number of risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon. Men were at increased risk of hamstring and calf problems, whereas women were at increased risk of hip problems. Participation in a marathon for the first time, participation in other sports, illness in the two weeks before the marathon, current use of medication, and drinking alcohol once a month or more, were associated with increased self reported risks of problems. While increased training seemed to increase the risk of front thigh and hamstring problems, it may decrease the risk of knee problems. There are significant but complex relations between age and risk of injury or health problem. CONCLUSIONS: This study has identified certain high risk subjects and risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon. In particular, subjects who have recently been unwell or are taking medication should weigh up carefully the pros and cons of participating. (+info)
Factors influencing tackle injuries in rugby union football.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the influence of selected aspects of lifestyle, personality, and other player related factors on injuries in the tackle. To describe the detailed circumstances in which these tackles occurred. METHODS: A prospective case-control study was undertaken in which the tackling and tackled players ("the cases") involved in a tackle injury were each matched with "control" players who held the same respective playing positions in the opposing teams. A total of 964 rugby matches involving 71 senior clubs drawn from all districts of the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) were observed by nominated linkmen who administered self report questionnaires to the players identified as cases and controls. Information on lifestyle habits, match preparation, training, and coaching experience was obtained. A validated battery of psychological tests assessed players' trait anger and responses to anger and hostility. The circumstances of the tackles in which injury occurred were recorded by experienced SRU coaching staff in interviews with involved players after the match. RESULTS: A total of 71 tackle injury episodes with correct matching of cases and controls were studied. The following player related factors did not contribute significantly to tackle injuries: alcohol consumption before the match, feeling "below par" through minor illness, the extent of match preparation, previous coaching, or practising tackling. Injured and non-injured players in the tackle did not differ in their disposition toward, or expression of, anger or hostility. Some 85% of tackling players who were injured were three quarters, and 52% of injuries occurred when the tackle came in behind the tackled player or within his peripheral vision. Either the tackling or tackled player was sprinting or running in all of these injury episodes. One third of injuries occurred in differential speed tackles--that is, when one player was travelling much faster than the other at impact. The player with the lower momentum was injured in 80% of these cases. Forceful or crunching tackles resulting in injury mostly occurred head on or within the tackled player's side vision. CONCLUSIONS: Attention should be focused on high speed tackles going in behind the tackled player's line of vision. Comparative information on the circumstances of the vast majority of tackles in which no injury occurs is required before any changes are considered to reduce injuries in the tackle. (+info)
Rider injury rates and emergency medical services at equestrian events.
BACKGROUND: Horse riding is a hazardous pastime, with a number of studies documenting high rates of injury and death among horse riders in general. This study focuses on the injury experience of cross country event riders, a high risk subset of horse riders. METHOD: Injury data were collected at a series of 35 equestrian events in South Australia from 1990 to 1998. RESULTS: Injury rates were found to be especially high among event riders, with frequent falls, injuries, and even deaths. The highest injury rates were among the riders competing at the highest levels. CONCLUSION: There is a need for skilled emergency medical services at equestrian events. (+info)