[Multivariate analysis on the relationship between subjective symptoms and risk factors for the development of symptoms including working conditions, life habits and physical status in forestry workers using chain saw].
To determine the risk factors of the subjective symptoms experienced by chain saw workers, we surveyed 206 forestry workers using this device in their work. The strength of the relationship between their symptoms and such potential risk factors as occupational, behavioral, and physical factors was evaluated by a multiple logistic regression model. It was found that many years of chain saw operation, and numerous hours of chain saw operation per day, increased the risk of white finger, numbness of hands and arms, chillness of hands and arms and difficulty in joint movement, indicating that these symptoms were closely related to vibration exposure. Many years of forestry work before chain saw work also increased the risk of joint pain, suggesting that bone and joint disorders are related to heavy manual work not using a chain saw. A second job involving manual labor increased the risk of weakness in the arms, stiffness of the shoulders, and lumbago. Infrequent bathing was associated with increased risk of pain in hands and arms and lumbago. Older workers had a higher prevalence of stomach discomfort. No risk factor was found to significantly increase the risk of easy fatigability, forgetfulness and sleep disorder. It was found that not only exposure to vibration but also other factors contributed to the prevalence of pain in hands and arms, joint pain, weakness in arms, stiffness of shoulder, and lumbago. Second job and infrequent bathing appeared to be related to the occurrence of certain subjective symptoms. These contributory factors should be taken into account when evaluating subjective symptoms encountered in field studies of forestry workers.
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