Epidemiology - 180 entries found
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Armstrong T.W., Liang Y., Hetherington Y., Bowes S.M., Wong O., Fu H., Chen M., Schnatter A.R.
Retrospective occupational exposure assessment for case-control and case-series epidemiology studies based in Shanghai China
To provide exposure information for epidemiology studies conducted in Shanghai from 2001 to 2008, this study completed retrospective exposure assessments (EA) of benzene and other hazards. Interviewers administered questionnaires to subjects from Shanghai area hospitals. An initial exposure screening by EA staff members, blinded as to case-control status, stratified jobs into exposed, unexposed, or uncertain categories prior to review by a separate expert panel (EP). Resources for the EA included questionnaire responses by subjects, short-term benzene area concentration measurements from a Shanghai regulatory agency database, Chinese literature for qualitative and short-term quantitative measurements, on-site investigations, summaries of technology changes and selected task simulations with concurrent benzene concentration measurements. An EP in Shanghai completed semi-quantitative benzene exposure assignments. Findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Sep. 2011, Vol.8, No.9, p.561-572. Illus. 48 ref.
Retrospective_occupational_exposure_assessment_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in English]
Menvielle G., Leclerc A.
Statistical and epidemiological glossary
Glossaire statistique et épidémiologique [in French]
This article presents a glossary of the most frequently-used terms in the field of epidemiology. It is preceded by an English-French lexicon.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, 4th Quarter. 2011, No.173, 18p. Illus. 26 ref.
Glossaire_statistique_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in French]
Heinrich S., Peters A., Kellberger J., Ellenberg D., Genuneit J., Nowak D., Vogelberg C., von Mutius E., Weinmayr G., Radon K.
Study on occupational allergy risks (SOLAR II) in Germany: Design and methods
SOLAR II is the 2nd follow-up of a population-based cohort recruited in Munich and Dresden in 1995/6. A first follow-up study was conducted 2002 and 2003 (SOLAR I). The aims of SOLAR II were to investigate the course of atopic diseases over puberty taking environmental and occupational risk factors into account. This article describes the methods of the 2nd follow-up carried out from 2007 to 2009 and the challenges faced while studying a population-based cohort of young adults. Wherever possible, the same questionnaire instruments were used throughout the studies. They included questions on respiratory and allergic diseases, domestic and occupational exposure and work related stress. Furthermore, clinical examinations including skin prick tests, spirometry and bronchial challenge with methacholine, exhaled nitric oxide and blood samples were employed at baseline and 2nd follow-up. Of the 3053 SOLAR I study participants who had agreed to be contacted again, about 50% had moved in the meantime and had to be traced using phone directories and the German population registries. Overall, 2904 of these participants could be contacted on average five years after the first follow-up. From this group, 2051 subjects (71%) completed the questionnaire they received via mail. Of these, 57% participated at least in some parts of the clinical examinations. Challenges faced included the high mobility of this age group. Time constraints and limited interest in the study were substantial. Analysing the results, selection bias had to be considered as questionnaire responders (54%) and those participating in the clinical part of the study (63%) were more likely to have a high parental level of education compared to non-participants (42%). Similarly, a higher prevalence of parental atopy (such as allergic rhinitis) at baseline was found for participants in the questionnaire part (22%) and those participating in the clinical part of the study (27%) compared to non-participants (11%).
Public Health, 2011, Vol.11, No.298, 11 p. (Internet document).
Study_on_occupational_allergy_risks.pdf [in English]
Svendsen K., Hilt B.
The agreement between workers and within workers in regard to occupational exposure to mercury in dental practice assessed from a questionnaire and an interview
In epidemiological studies, the validity of exposure data obtained from questionnaires is seldom evaluated. When conducting a study on the possible health effects from mercury exposure in dental practice, this study compared answers on exposure from a job-specific questionnaire with answers to the same questions given at an interview 6 to 18 months later. The concordance between workers was evaluated by comparing answers to the questionnaire given by persons working in the same clinics during the same time spans and the agreement within workers by comparing answers to the same questions from a questionnaire and from an interview. Other aims were to see if there was a difference in the answers to the questionnaire across job titles and to study the impact of missing information on the response rate in a detailed questionnaire. The results of this study indicate that a mailed questionnaire will cause misclassification of exposure. The observed occurrence of false positive exposure classifications from the questionnaire compared to the interview was higher than for false negative. This is important and may result in serious bias if the prevalence of exposure is low. Due to missing information, detailed questionnaires may also be inefficient if the goal is to construct exposure measures from combinations of several answers in the questionnaire.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Mar. 2011, 22p. 12 ref.
The_agreement_between_workers.pdf [in English]
Wang X.S., Armstrong M.E., Cairns B.J., Key T.J., Travis R.C.
Shift work and chronic disease: The epidemiological evidence
Shift work, including night work, has been hypothesized to increase the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The objective of this literature survey was to review recent published data on shift work and chronic disease. Published evidence is suggestive but not conclusive for an adverse association between night work and breast cancer but limited and inconsistent for cancers at other sites and all cancers combined. Findings on shift work, in relation to risks of CVD, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are also suggestive but not conclusive.
Occupational Medicine, 2011, Vol.61, p.78-89. 77 ref.
Shift_work_and_chronic_disease.pdf [in English]
Montgomery M.P., Kamel F., Hoppin J.A., Beane Freeman L.E., Alavanja M.C., Sandler D.P.
Effects of self-reported health conditions and pesticide exposures on probability of follow-up in a prospective cohort study
This study investigated the potential for selection bias due to non-participation in the follow-up of a large prospective cohort study. Licensed pesticide applicators (52,395 private; 4,916 commercial) in the Agricultural Health Study provided demographic, health and pesticide exposure information at enrollment (1993-1997) and in a 5-year follow-up telephone interview. Factors associated with non-participation in the follow-up were identified using multiple logistic regression analyses. Potential for selection bias was evaluated by comparing exposure-disease associations between the entire cohort and the follow-up subset. Sixty-six percent of private and 60% of commercial applicators completed the follow-up interview. Private and commercial applicators who did not complete the follow-up reported at enrollment younger age, less education, lower body mass index, poorer health behaviors but fewer health conditions, and lower pesticide use. Estimates of exposure-disease associations calculated with and without non-participants did not indicate strong selection bias.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.486-496. 10 ref.
Morfeld P., McCunney R.J.
Bayesian bias adjustments of the lung cancer SMR in a cohort of German carbon black production workers
A German cohort study on 1,528 carbon black production workers estimated an elevated lung cancer SMR ranging from 1.8-2.2 depending on the reference population. No positive trends with carbon black exposures were noted in the analyses. A nested case control study, however, identified smoking and previous exposures to known carcinogens, such as crystalline silica, received prior to work in the carbon black industry as important risk factors. This study used a Bayesian procedure to adjust the SMR, based on seven independent parameter distributions describing smoking behaviour and crystalline silica dust exposure (as indicator of a group of correlated carcinogen exposures received previously) in the cohort and population as well as the strength of the relationship of these factors with lung cancer mortality. The Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods (MCMC) was implemented. When putting a flat prior to the SMR a Markov chain of length 1,000,000 returned a median posterior SMR estimate (that is, the adjusted SMR) in the range between 1.32 and 1.00 depending on the method of assessing previous exposures. It is concluded that Bayesian bias adjustment is an excellent tool to effectively combine data about confounders from different sources. Quantitative bias adjustment should become a regular tool in occupational epidemiology.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2010, 5:23, 14p. Illus. 66 ref.
Bayesian_bias_adjustments.pdf [in English]
Caron V., Cosset Y.
Q fever in occupational settings: Where do we stand?
Fièvre Q et milieu professionnel - Où en est-on? [in French]
While Q fever may be serious for certain populations and may concern many workers in contact with animals (mainly bovines, goats and sheep) and their environment, it remains largely unknown and is rarely mentioned by physicians. Animal farmers, veterinarians, inseminators, and slaughterhouse and meat quartering workers are among the most exposed. An epidemic having occurred in a slaughterhouse in the French Department of Maine-et-Loire in February 2009 provides an opportunity for a brief overview of the situation of Q fever in France from the standpoints of epidemiology, risks in occupational settings and preventive measures.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 2010, No.123, p.349-353. Illus. 9 ref.
TP_10.pdf [in French]
Smith D.R., Attia J., McEvoy M.
Exploring new frontiers in occupational epidemiology: The Hunter Community Study (HCS) from Australia
This article describes a pioneering longitudinal investigation known as the Hunter Community Study (HCS), which investigates retired and near-retired persons randomly selected in a regional area on the heavily- populated east coast of Australia. Data collected include clinical and biological measures, as well as the full lifetime occupational history linked to job exposures. Longitudinal cohort studies with exposure assessment, such as the HCS offer epidemiologists a clear opportunity for examining and evaluating the long-term risks of employment across a variety of workplace settings.
Industrial Health, Mar. 2010, Vol.48, No.2, p.244-248. 47 ref.
Exploring_new_frontiers.pdf [in English]
12th Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA 12): Strengthening radiation protection worldwide - Highlights, global perspective and future trends
Highlights of the 12th congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA 12) held 19-24 October 2008 in Buenos-Aires, Argentina, on strengthening radiation protection worldwide. Main topics covered: epistemiologic basis of radiation protection; harmonization of radiation protection recommendations; future trends and recommendations for strengthening radiation protection worldwide. A CD-ROM containing the full set of keynote addresses, contributed papers, presentations and refresher courses, which are also available on the IRPA 12 website (www.irpa12.org.arg), is included.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Wagramerstrasse 5, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Wien, Austria, 2010. 329p. Illus. Bibl.ref. + CD-ROM.
12th_congress_of_the_IRPA.pdf [in English]
Analysis on occupational-related safety fatal accident reports of China 2001-2008
This study examines the epidemiological characteristics on fatal accidents in China. Data of the State Administration of Work Safety on accidents that caused more than nine deaths each having occurred between January 1st, 2001 and December 31st, 2008 were analysed. Nine hundred and sixty two occupational-related fatal accidents were found in 31 provinces, causing 17,112 deaths and 8222 injuries. The occurrence of occupational accidents can be associated with risk factors from multiple perspectives such as workers, occupational environment, social environment, natural environment, regulations, and injury objects. Strength of supervision and adjustment of public health policy are needed in China to decrease the occurrence rate of fatal accidents.
Safety Science, June 2010, Vol.48, No.5, p.640-642. Illus. 7 ref.
Goldberg M., Zins M.
Epidemiologic cohort studies
Études épidémiologiques de cohorte [in French]
Cohort studies allow the evaluation of various risk factors on health under the most favorable methodological conditions. This article on "exposed and unexposed" cohort studies, also called nested case-control studies starts by reviewing some of the basics of epidemiology, namely: risk factors, types of statistical associations, confounding factors, causal criteria and relative risk. Next, the basic principles of prospective and historical surveys are described, together with the methods for calculating and analyzing risks. The method for calculating standardized mortality rations (SMRs) is described in detail. Finally, with the help of several examples, some of the practical methodological problems that are frequently encountered in cohort studies are briefly discussed.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 3rd Quarter 2004, No.168, 8p. Illus. 13 ref.
MacFarlane E., Benke G., Del Monaco A., Sim M.R.
Cancer incidence and mortality in a historical cohort of Australian pest control workers
The objective of this study was to determine the rates of mortality and incident cancer in a historical cohort of pest control operators, assembled from former state government occupational health surveillance programmes. This cohort was linked to the Australian national registries of cancer and mortality and the results were compared with the general Australian population rates. 125 deaths and 89 incident cancers were found during the periods of observation (mortality 1983-2004 and cancer 1983-2002). Overall cancer incidence and mortality rates were not found to be significantly different from the general population. Among the specific causes of death, suicide (standardized mortality ratio; SMR 1.78) and unintentional falls (SMR 4.57) were significantly in excess, although the latter was based on only four deaths. Melanoma was the only specific incident cancer found significantly in excess (standardized incidence ratio 1.56).
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2009, Vol.66, No.12, p.818-823. 30 ref.
Technical backgrounder on the problematic diseases in the proposed list to replace the list annexed to the List of Occupational Diseases Recommendation, 2002 (No. 194)
Document technique sur les maladies problématiques inscrites sur la liste proposée en remplacement de la liste des maladies professionnelles figurant dans l'annexe à la recommandation (nº 194) sur la liste des maladies professionnelles, 2002 [in French]
Documento de información técnica sobre las enfermedades que plantean problemas para su posible inclusión en la lista de enfermedades profesionales que figura como anexo de la Recomendación sobre la lista de enfermedades profesionales, 2002 (núm. 194) [in Spanish]
This report was prepared as a background for discussion at a meeting of experts on the revision of the ILO list of occupational diseases held in Geneva, Switzerland, 27-30 October 2009 (see ISN 110721). It addresses a number of occupational diseases that raise specific issues: diseases caused by radiofrequency radiation; malaria; extrinsic allergic alveolitis caused by the inhalation of organic dusts; carpal tunnel syndrome; mental and behavioural disorders; formaldehyde; hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus; crystalline silica. In each case, the report includes general information on the disease or diseases caused by the agent, the exposure at work, the scientific background and the diagnosis criteria, as well as the list of countries specifically including the disease in the national list of occupational diseases.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2009. iv, 32p.
MERLOD/2009/5/EN.pdf [in English]
MERLOD/2009/5/FR.pdf [in French]
MERLOD/2009/5/ES.pdf [in Spanish]
Identification and recognition of occupational diseases: Criteria for incorporating diseases in the ILO list of occupational diseases - Meeting of Experts on the Revision of the List of Occupational Diseases (Recommendation No. 194)
Identification et reconnaissance des maladies professionnelles: critères pour incorporer des maladies dans la liste des maladies professionnelles de l'OIT - Réunion d'experts sur la révision de la liste des maladies professionnelles (recommandation n° 194) [in French]
Identificación y reconocimiento de las enfermedades profesionales: Criterios para incluir enfermedades en la lista de enfermedades profesionales de la OIT - Reunión de expertos sobre la revisión de la lista de enfermedades profesionales (Recomendación núm. 194) [in Spanish]
Report of a meeting of experts on the revision of the ILO list of occupational diseases held in Geneva, Switzerland, 27-30 October 2009. Contents: definitions of occupational diseases; general criteria for identification and recognition of occupational diseases; criteria for identification and recognition of an individual disease; criteria for incorporating a disease into the ILO list of occupational diseases; updating the list of occupational diseases; consultations for the purpose of preparing a common ground; common ground achieved through tripartite consultations; decision-making process at the Meeting of Experts on the Revision of the List of Occupational Diseases Recommendation, 2002 (No. 194).
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2009. 7p.
MERLOD/2009/4/EN.pdf [in English]
MERLOD/2009/4/FR.pdf [in French]
MERLOD/2009/4/ES.pdf [in Spanish]
Report - Meeting of Experts on the Revision of the List of Occupational Diseases (Recommendation No. 194)
Rapport - Réunion d'experts sur la révision de la liste des maladies professionnelles (recommandation n° 194) [in French]
Informe - Reunión de expertos sobre la revisión de la lista de enfermedades profesionales (Recomendación núm. 194) [in Spanish]
A working group of experts met in Geneva, Switzerland, 27-30 October 2009 to finalize a new list of occupational diseases reflecting the state-of-the-art development in their identification and recognition. It indicates clearly where prevention and protection should take place. This ILO list represents the latest worldwide consensus on diseases which are internationally accepted as caused by work.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2009. iii, 22p.
MERLOD/2009/10/EN.pdf [in English]
MERLOD/2009/10/FR.pdf [in French]
MERLOD/2009/10/ES.pdf [in Spanish]
Albin M., Jakobsson K.
Occupational health epidemiology in the Nordic countries - Status and trends
This review describes the current status and trends in occupational health research in the Nordic countries, which rank among the top five globally in terms of research output in this field. Issues discussed include the social aspects of workforce ageing, migration, mental ill-health among younger women, oxidative stress and genetic factors.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2009, No.7, Suppl.1, p.41-47. Illus. 52 ref.
Liu H., Tang Z., Weng D., Yang Y., Tian L., Duan Z., Chen J.
Prevalence characteristics and prediction of coal workers' pneumoconiosis in the Tiefa colliery in China
To explore the current prevalence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) in China and future trends, this study investigated 16,154 coal miners exposed to dust for at least one year in a colliery in China. Four sub-cohorts (before 1958, from 1958, from 1968 and from 1978) were created according to years of first exposure. The cumulative incidence rates of CWP in the four cohorts were 26.65%, 18.94%, 1.15%, and 0.06%, respectively. It is predicted that future CWP patients would mainly occur among coal miners with first dust exposure in 1958-1967 and those working at tunneling. Other findings are discussed.
Industrial Health, July 2009, Vol.47, No.4, p.369-375. Illus. 29 ref.
Barrero L.H., Katz J.N., Dennerlein J.T.
Validity of self-reported mechanical demands for occupational epidemiologic research of musculoskeletal disorders
The objective of this literature survey was to describe the validity of self-reported work-related mechanical demands using observation-based exposure assessments. Overall, the validity depends on study-specific factors often not examined.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2009, Vol.35, No.4, p.245-260. Illus. 104 ref.
Birk T., Mundt K.A., Guldner K., Parsons W., Luippold R.S.
Mortality in the German porcelain industry 1985-2005: First results of an epidemiological cohort study
The objective of this study was to evaluate mortality among German porcelain production workers potentially exposed to crystalline silica. Participants were the 17,644 workers during 1985-1987, who were followed until 2005. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for various causes. Women (SMR 0.85), but not men, demonstrated a healthy worker effect. Mortality was increased from silicosis (SMR 7.20) liver (SMR 1.99) and pancreatic (SMR 1.71) cancers among men, and diabetes among women (SMR 1.74). However, associations reported in previous studies between crystalline silica exposure and lung cancer, renal cancer and non-malignant renal diseases were not found.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2009, Vol.51, No.3, p.373-385. Illus. 37 ref.
Schulte P.A., Schubauer-Berigan M.K., Mayweather C., Geraci C.L., Zumwalde R., McKernan J.L.
Issues in the development of epidemiologic studies of workers exposed to engineered nanoparticles
Until the hazards and risks of engineered nanoparticles are determined, the technological advances of nanotechnology may be impeded by the societal concerns. Although animal data provide the necessary first step in hazard and risk assessment, epidemiological studies involving exposed workers will also be required. It may be too soon to conduct epidemiological studies but not too soon to identify issues and prepare strategies to address them. Twelve important issues were identified from published scientific literature, the most critical pertaining to particle heterogeneity, temporal factors, exposure characterization, disease endpoints and identification of the study population.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2009, Vol.51, No.3, p.323-335. Illus. 103 ref.
Mills P.K., Dodge J., Yang R.
Cancer in migrant and seasonal hired farm workers
Farmworkers in the United States represent a workforce of some three million persons. This population is at high risk due to exposures to sunlight and heat, and to dangerous machinery, fumes, fertilizers, dust and pesticides. This article summarizes the findings of a series epidemiological studies conducted among farm workers in California, many of whom are seasonal and migrant workers. They are at elevated risk for numerous forms of cancer compared to the general population, including lymphomas and leukaemia, as well as prostate, brain, cervix and stomach cancers. Specific pesticides may be associated with this increased risk.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2nd quarter 2009, Vol.14, No.2, p.185-191. 19 ref.
Blair A., Freeman l.B.
Epidemiologic studies in agricultural populations: Observations and future directions
This article reviews epidemiologic studies of cancer among agricultural populations to identify possible associations and to provide a focus for future investigations. Meta-analyses of mortality surveys of farmers find excesses of several cancers, including connective tissue, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, multiple myeloma and cancers of the skin, stomach, and brain, and deficits for total mortality, heart disease, total cancer, and cancers of the esophagus, colon, lung, and bladder. Exposures to pesticides do not fully explain the various cancer and other disease patterns observed among farmers. Other findings are discussed.
Journal of Agromedicine, 2nd Quarter 2009, Vol.14, No.2, p.125-131. 22 ref.
Mirabelli M.C, Zock J.P., Bircher A.J., Jarvis D., Keidel D., Kromhout H., Norbäck D., Olivieri M., Plana E., Radon K, Schindler C, Schmid-Grendelmeier P., Torén K., Villani S., Kogevinas M
Metalworking exposures and persistent skin symptoms in the ECRHS II and SAPALDIA 2 cohorts
This analysis was conducted to assess the associations between metalworking exposures and current and persistent skin symptoms among male and female participants in two population-based epidemiologic studies in Europe: the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II (ECRHS II) and the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Disease in Adults 2 (SAPALDIA 2). Each participant completed interviewer-administered questionnaires to provide information about symptoms and exposures related to selected occupations, including metalworking, during the follow-up periods. The associations between skin symptoms and the frequency of metalworking exposures among 676 ECRHS II/SAPALDIA 2 respondents were analysed. Current skin symptoms were reported by 10% of metalworkers and were associated with frequent use of oil-based metalworking fluids and organic solvent/degreasing. The findings justify assessing strategies for reducing the frequency of metal-related exposures.
Contact Dermatitis, May 2009, Vol.60, No.5, p.256-263. 20 ref.
Mérat-Tagnard F., Michels F., Géraut L., Ferrand J.F., Moulin P., Guével E.
Cardiovascular diseases and work
Affections cardio-respiratoires et travail [in French]
This article reviews the papers presented at the 22nd Congress of the French society of occupational medicine and hygiene in the armed forces and armaments industry (Société d'hygiène et de médecine du travail dans les armées et industries d'armement) held in Lille, France, on 2 and 3 October 2008, on the topic of work-related cardiorespiratory diseases. Contents: occupational cardiovascular risks among firefighters; Takotsubo syndrome (a stress-induced cardiomyopathy); exposure to beryllium in France; management of a case of tuberculosis in occupational settings; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; creation of a centre in French Polynesia for the medical surveillance of workers of the French Pacific testing site; atypical cases of notification of asbestos-related occupational disease; cutting fluids and the lung; occupational allergic rhinitis and asthma.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 1st Quarter 2009, No.117, p.77-88. 5 ref.
http://www.inrs.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TD%20164/22.06File/TD164.pdf [in French]
Aubry C., Bourgkard E., Buisson C., Goldberg M., Imbernon E.
Evaluation of the impact of a methodological guide on occupational medicine practice
Etude de l'impact d'un guide méthodologique sur la pratique des médecins du travail [in French]
In 2004, the French Institute for public health surveillance (Institut français de veille sanitaire) and the INRS had jointly developed a methodological guide for helping occupational physicians facilitate and promote epidemiological surveillance within the enterprise (see CIS 06-316). In 2007, a questionnaire was addressed to 6038 occupational physicians for the purpose of evaluating the perception and practical impact of the guide. This article analyses the 1164 questionnaire responses received. The key finding of the survey is that very few occupational health services have actually adopted the methods proposed in the guide.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 1st Quarter 2009, No.117, p.39-53. Illus. 12 ref.
http://www.inrs.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TF%20178/22.06File/TF178.pdf [in French]
Kheifets L., Bowman J.D., Checkoway H., Feychting M., Harrington J.M., Kavet R., Marsh G., Mezei G., Renew D.C., van Wijngaarden E.
Future needs of occupational epidemiology of extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields: Review and recommendations
Occupational epidemiological literature on the health effects of extremely low frequency electric and magnetic fields (EMF) encompasses a large number of studies that have addressed various health outcomes, including cancers, cardiovascular disease, depression, suicide and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Extensive epidemiological research conducted during the past 20 years on occupational EMF exposure does not indicate strong or consistent associations with cancer or any other health outcomes. Inconsistent results may be attributable to numerous shortcomings in the studies, most notably in exposure assessment.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2009, Vol.66, No.2, p.72-80. Illus. 104 ref.
The feasibility of comparing sickness absence surveys and the Labour Force Survey
The purpose of this study was to corroborate the Labour Force Survey (LFS) statistics on incidence of work-related ill health, workplace injuries and average number of days absent across a broad range of employer organisations from 2003 to 2007. Published surveys from six employer organisations were reviewed and compared, showing a wide variability in the published sickness absence rates. This is likely to be due to a combination of factors, notably differences in target population, how the data are summarised, differences in the demography of the samples and random variation. Determining the contribution of each factor to the differences was not possible. In conclusion, none of the surveys considered were directly comparable with the LFS and the complexity of differences between the other surveys made it difficult to draw any comparison with the LFS. However, some conclusions on general trends in absence from the employer sources are given.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2008. viii, 20p. Illus. 25 ref.
RR_673.pdf [in English]
Rudén C., Hansson S.O.
Evidence-based toxicology: "sound science" in new disguise
The "evidence-based toxicology" departs radically from state-of-the-art toxicology by claiming that risks for humans can only be determined on the basis of human evidence. Just like the previous proposal of "sound science," "evidence-based toxicology" poses a heavy burden of proof on any effort to control exposures in order to reduce health risks to those exposed. The alleged connection between "evidence-based toxicology" and evidence-based medicine is misconceived, since the strict criteria for use of scientific data in evidence-based medicine concerns proof of therapeutic effects, while in "evidence-based toxicology" these criteria are applied to proof of harmful effects.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 4th quarter 2008, Vol.14, No.4, p.299-306. 33 ref.
Evidence-based_toxicology.pdf [in English]
Lorenzi R.L., de Oliveira I.M.
Tuberculosis in nursing personnel - A population based epidemiological approach
Tuberculose em trabalhadores de enfermagem: uma abordagem epidemiológica de base populacional [in Portuguese]
This study examines the risk of tuberculosis among nursing personnel in Brazil using the São Paulo Tuberculosis Program database "EPI-TB". The standardized incidence ratio was calculated taking as reference the population in the city of São Paulo in the year 2004. The 20-29 age interval showed an increased risk among nurses when compared to the reference population. Among 15 to 19 year-old nurses' aides there was also an increase of risk. It is concluded that nursing personnel may be considered at risk of nosocomial tuberculosis and should be monitored for nosocomial TB. The ways of improving health surveillance practices in Brazil are discussed.
Revista brasileira de saúde ocupacional, Jan.-June 2008, Vol.33, No.117, p.6-14. Illus. 16 ref.
http://www.fundacentro.gov.br/rbso/BancoAnexos/RBSO%20117%20Tuberculose.pdf [in Portuguese]
Historical review of major environmental accidents involving chemicals
Histoire des catastrophes environnementales d'origine chimique [in French]
A first part of this article presents a concise overview of the 100 or so major chemical accidents having occurred since the beginning of the 20th century. Some 45 major accidents are next reviewed in more detail, with data on the extent, causes and victims. The toxicology of the products involved, together with the epidemiological and ecotoxicological implications are provided for each accident.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 4th Quarter 2008, No.161, 21p. 119 ref.
Chrysotile, a form of asbestos, biased studies, certainty of hazards
Le chrysotile, une variété d'amiante, des études biaisées, des risques certains [in French]
This article raises an alarm over the risks of a major comeback of asbestos. One of its types, chrysotile is portrayed as being innocuous. According to its defenders in Québec (Canada) and the Russian Federation, it does not possess sufficient bio-persistence (lifetime) to be carcinogenic. The article opposes this reasoning with the opinions of other specialists. It analyses the findings of articles put forward by the asbestos lobbies and concludes that they lack scientific rigour.
Préventique-Sécurité, July-Aug. 2008, No.100, p.30-35. Illus. 20 ref.
Gerr F., Marcus M., Messing K., Premji S., Lippel K.
Yes, the "one-handed" scientist lacks rigor - Why investigators should not use causal language when interpreting the results of a single study. But two-handed scientists are using only one hand now
A letter by two occupational health scientists to the editor of the journal criticizes an earlier article according to which the hesitant language used by authors of epidemiological research exploring relationships between occupational factors and musculoskeletal disorders downplays sometimes obvious causal evidence, possibly resulting in unfavourable decisions to workers by compensation boards. The authors of the original article respond to these criticisms in a second letter to the editor.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Oct. 2008, Vol.51, No.10, p.795-798. 4 ref.
Wild P., Bourgkard E., Paris C.
Lung cancer and occupational exposure to metals: Review of epidemiological studies
Cancer du poumon et exposition professionnelle aux métaux: une revue des études épidémiologiques [in French]
This literature survey discusses epidemiological findings concerning the relationship between lung cancer and occupational exposure to metals. Epidemiological data are briefly reviewed for the following known carcinogens: chromium, nickel, beryllium, cadmium, arsenic and silicon (in the form of crystalline silica), highlighting some of the aspects that are still not fully understood. Next, it examines in greater detail some of the metals for which the link between exposure and lung cancer risk is less certain, namely titanium, lead, iron, cobalt and tungsten. Despite a high risk of bronchopulmonary cancer among certain populations exposed to lead, there does not appear to be any dose-response relationship. Epidemiological studies carried out in the hard metal industry suggest a possible carcinogenic risk from cobalt in the presence of tungsten carbide. Other findings are discussed.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, June 2008, No.114, p.201-219. Illus. 160 ref.
http://www.dmt-prevention.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/IntranetObject-accesParReference/TC%20120/$File/TC120.pdf [in French]
Taswell K., Wingfield-Digby P.
Occupational injuries statistics from household surveys and establishment surveys - An ILO manual on methods
This manual aims to assist persons responsible for compiling data on occupational injuries with newly developed tools for collecting these data from household surveys and establishment surveys, to supplement the data available from official sources of information. A second aim of the manual is to enhance compatibility of data between countries by encouraging the application of the latest international statistical standards, which form the basis of the new methodological tools. It provides: practical guidance for the production of statistics on occupational injuries through household surveys and establishment surveys; in-depth explanation of the concepts underlying the statistics, including the types of data, classification schemes, indicators and international standards; a step-by-step approach for developing household and establishment surveys and processing and disseminating the data; model questionnaires; training materials.
ILO Publications, International Labour Office, 1211 Genève 22, Switzerland, 2008. x, 184p. Illus. Price: CHF 55.00.
Deubner D.C., Roth H.D., Levy P.S.
Empirical evaluation of complex epidemiologic study designs: Workplace exposure and cancer
The aim of this study was to evaluate empirically the reliability of cohort-nested case-control study designs using data of a cohort of beryllium workers of a previous study. Empirical evaluations showed that the study design produced a biased case-control lagged exposure difference under the null hypothesis and could not distinguish qualitatively between null and alternate hypotheses. Empirical evaluation allowed checking on the results generated from a complex study design. It gave useful insight into the behaviour of study designs that would not otherwise have been readily deducible.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2007, Vol.49, No.9, p.953-959. 11 ref.
Kriebel D., Checkoway H., Pearce N.
Exposure and dose modelling in occupational epidemiology
In epidemiological studies, simple summary measures of exposure such as average exposure, cumulative exposure or duration of exposure can be applied suitably in many instances. However, there are situations where these metrics may not be directly proportional to risk. This article outlines methods for developing improved exposure or dose metrics which may reduce the risk of misclassification.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2007, Vol.64, No.7, p.492-498.Illus. 37 ref.
Checkoway H., Pearce N., Kriebel D.
Selecting appropriate study designs to address specific research questions in occupational epidemiology
Various epidemiological study designs are available to investigate illness and injury risks related to workplace exposures. The choice of study design to address a particular research question will be guided by the nature of the health outcome under study, its presumed relation to workplace exposures, and feasibility constraints. This review summarizes the relative advantages and limitations of conventional study designs including cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, repeated measures studies, case-control (industry-based and community-based) studies, and more recently developed variants of the nested case-control design, namely case-cohort and case-crossover studies.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2007, Vol.64, No.9, p.633-638. 26 ref.
Santibáñez M., Bolumar F., García A.M.
Occupational risk factors in Alzheimer's disease: A review assessing the quality of published epidemiological studies
Epidemiological evidence of an association between Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the most frequently studied occupational exposures, namely pesticides, solvents, electromagnetic fields (EMF), lead and aluminium, is inconsistent. Epidemiological studies published up to June of 2003 were systematically searched through PubMed and Toxline. Twenty-four studies (21 case-control and 3 cohort studies) were included. The quality of the studies was assessed. Eleven studies explored the relationship of AD with solvents, seven with EMF, six with pesticides, six with lead and three with aluminium. For pesticides, studies of greater quality and prospective design found increased and statistically significant associations. For the remaining occupational agents, the evidence of association is less consistent (for solvents and EMF) or absent (for lead and aluminium).
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Nov. 2007, Vol.64, No.11, p.723-732. Illus. 43 ref.
Investigating cancer risks related to asbestos and other occupational carcinogens
While it is estimated that 90% of lung cancers among men and 70% among women are attributable to smoking, the rest are believed to be due to occupational factors. Occupational cancer remains a critically-important area of research, both for lung cancer and other cancers. This editorial argues that it is important to have in place the resources needed for such research. It is likely that population-based case-control studies will be the primary design used. This will require creating and maintaining a cadre of experts who can carry out the exposure assessment needed for such research.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2007, Vol.64, No.8, p.500-501. 14 ref.
Emerging opportunities to prevent occupational lung disease
Although 80% of cases of chronic obstructive respiratory disease are attributable to smoking, the remaining 20% are believed to be mostly due to occupational causes, particularly among persons below the age of 45. This editorial argues that population-based multidisciplinary follow-up of sentinel cases of emerging lung diseases suspected to be due to occupational factors can enable occupational physicians to recommend risk-based preventive measures.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2007, Vol.64, No.8, p.499-500. 12 ref.
Lim Y.L., Goon A.
Occupational skin diseases in Singapore 2003-2004: An epidemiological update
In this two-year retrospective epidemiologic study of occupational skin disease in Singapore, there were 125 patients with occupational contact dermatitis. The mean age of patients was 33.8 years, with a male to female ratio of 5.3 to one. Irritant contact dermatitis made up 62.4% of all cases, while allergic contact dermatitis constituted 37.6%. Wet work and contact with detergents, oils, greases and solvents were the most common causes. There was also a significant increase in cases among workers from the food and catering sector.
Contact Dermatitis, Mar. 2007, Vol.56, No.3, p.157-159. 5 ref.
Work-related infectious disease in Australia: Causes and affected workers
This article consists of a literature-based review of epidemiological studies on work-related infectious disease in Australia. It reviews the magnitude, severity, causes and affected occupational groups. A wide range of Australian workers are at considerable risk of developing some kind of work-related infection. Most of these cases are relatively minor, but some result in significant morbidity. The main infections include both zoonotic and non-zoonotic organisms. The main occupational groups at risk include healthcare workers, childcare workers, agricultural workers, and meat and livestock workers.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Aug. 2006, Vol.22, No.4, p.303-314. 104 ref.
Cox T., Griffiths A., Houdmont J.
Health and Safety Executive
Defining a case of work-related stress
This research on work-related stress involved two parallel studies. The first concerned case definitions already applied within epidemiological surveys in the United Kingdom. The second study involved identifying key stakeholders and collecting from them information on the case definitions employed in their various fields and on their views concerning the feasibility of developing a single case definition that could span all domains while remaining consistent with epidemiological case definitions. No simple and universal case definition was found to be possible, largely because of the complex nature of work-related stress. However, a case definition and associated assessment framework was arrived at by consensus and acknowledged across stakeholder groups suitable for application within the occupational health domain.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2006. viii, 117p. Illus. Approx. 250 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr449.pdf [in English]
Mehlum I.S., Kjuus H., Veiersted K.B., Wergeland E.
Self-reported work-related health problems from the Oslo Health Study
The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of self-reported work-related health problems. The study was part of the Oslo Health Study in which all individuals in certain age cohorts were invited to a comprehensive health screening. All 30-, 40- and 45-year old subjects who attended the screening were asked if they had experienced any of 11 common health problems in the past month, and whether they considered these to be work-related. Of the 26,074 participants in these age cohorts, 8594 (33%) answered the questionnaire. Nearly 60% of subjects reported one or more work-related health problems. The most commonly-reported were neck and shoulder pain (38%) and low back pain (23%). Neck and shoulder pain was attributed to working conditions by 74% of subjects with this problem; followed by arm pain (72%), fatigue (51%) and low back pain (50%). Work-related fractions for eczema and asthma symptoms were 23 and 18%, respectively. There were marked gender differences, but small age differences.
Occupational Medicine, 2006, No.56, p.371-379. Illus. 34 ref.
Leigh J., Henderson D.
The epidemiology of malignant mesothelioma
Based on a literature survey, this article reviews the epidemiology of malignant mesothelioma, discussing history, incidence trends, occupational and non- occupational asbestos causation, and putative non-asbestos causation. It also describes the global situation in relation to estimated future incidence.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Oct. 2006, Vol.22, No.5, p.441-447. 50 ref.
Occupational contribution to the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
This literature review on the occupational causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) finds evidence that the relationship between occupational exposures to irritating dusts, gases and fumes and the occurrence of COPD is significant. Epidemiological evidence from both worker cohort and community studies supports an increased risk of COPD associated with such exposures. The occupational contribution to the burden of COPD is sufficiently important to warrant preventive interventions.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2005, Vol.47, No.2, p.154-160. 66 ref.
Epidemiological surveillance in occupational settings
Surveillance épidémiologique en milieu professionnel [in French]
Epidemiological surveillance in occupational settings consists of the systematic and regular collection, statistical analysis and interpretation of data on demographic factors, health problems and occupational factors. It is an alerting tool for the detection of work-related health problems and the identification of appropriate interventions. This Internet document provides a general overview of the objectives of epidemiological surveillance along with practical guidance on its implementation.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, Feb. 2005. Internet document. 17 ref.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_catalog_view_view/C338AA86C1132F66C1256FA4005CA7D2/$FILE/print.html [in French]
Descatha A., Geoffroy-Perez B., Leclerc A., Goldberg M.
Epidemiological surveys in occupational settings: Basic principles for occupational physicians
Enquêtes épidémiologiques en milieu de travail: quelques bases pour le médecin du travail [in French]
This article explains the various steps involved in carrying out a workplace epidemiologic study from the design stage to the publication of the findings, stressing the importance of working in a team alongside specialists in occupational hazards. The design of the study protocol is described (objectives, means, type of survey, study population, data to be analysed) and methods of data analysis and interpretation are outlined. The different stages are illustrated with a practical example.
Archives des maladies professionnelles, Sep. 2005, Vol.66, No.4, p.343-351. 15 ref.
Identification of determinants of exposure: Consequences for measurement and control strategies
A worker's exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents in the workplace is never constant over time. Workers within groups with similar tasks and working environments are rarely uniformly exposed. Hence, assigning workers to "exposed" and "unexposed" groups or to exposure categories is often difficult. The design and interpretation of epidemiological studies and the implementation of workplace intervention programmes requires a knowledge of the reasons why exposure variability exists, how large this variability is, and which factors determine differences in exposure levels among workers. This article presents statistical techniques that have become available in recent years that allow simultaneous evaluation of the magnitude of variance components as well as determinants of this variability.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2005, Vol.62, No.5, p.344-350. Illus. 21 ref.
Design of exposure questionnaires for epidemiological studies
Questionnaires are frequently used in epidemiological studies for occupational exposure assessment. This article discusses some of the issues that need to be taken into account when designing such questionnaires, namely: use of self-administered or interviewer-administered questionnaires; use of open ended or closed ended questions; use of proper wording; examples of poorly-worded questions; format of the questionnaire; useful complementary questions; pilot testing; translation; validity.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Apr. 2005, Vol.62, No.4, p.272-280. Illus. 30 ref.
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