ABSTRACT: Lifting heavy weights involves the Valsalva manoeuvre, which leads to intraocular pressure spikes. We used data from a case-control study to further investigate the hypothesis that occupational lifting is a risk factor for retinal detachment.
The study population included 48 cases (patients operated for retinal detachment) and 84 controls (outpatients attending an eye clinic). The odds ratios (OR) of idiopathic retinal detachment were estimated with a logistic regression model (adjusted for age, sex and body mass index). Three indexes were used to examine exposure to lifting; 1) maximum load lifted, 2) average weekly lifting, 3) lifelong cumulative lifting.
For all indexes, the most exposed subjects showed an increased risk of retinal detachment compared with the unexposed (index 1: OR 3.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21-10.48; index 2: OR 3.24, 95% CI 1.32-7.97; index 3: OR 2.23, 95% CI 1.27-8.74) and dose-response relationships were apparent.
These results reinforce the hypothesis that heavy occupational lifting may be a relevant risk factor for retinal detachment.
Safety and health at work. 03/2012; 3(1):52-7.
ABSTRACT: In response to a request for a medicolegal opinion from an orthopaedic technician with pacinian neuroma of the hand, we conducted a systematic review of reported cases designed to assess whether this rare disease could be considered to be work-related.
We used Medline, Embase, Google Scholar, Google, and a manual search to identify reports of histologically confirmed pacinian neuroma of the hand manifesting after 15 years of age. Cases with available information (from article/authors) on personal history were considered eligible. We tabulated information on age/gender; localization and histopathologic features; signs/symptoms; history of local trauma; occupation, sports/hobbies or other physical exposures; right- or left-handedness; and outcome.
We found 44 eligible cases (including the present referral). Of these, 21 (48%) followed a trauma [<6 months from onset/presentation (N=7); 0.5-2 years from onset (N=6); ≥ 2 years from onset (N=7); and timing unknown (N=1)] involving the same anatomic site. Three of these 21 traumas definitely occurred at work, and a further 2 cases occurred at the site of definite work-related repetitive microtrauma.
The results reinforce the concept that pacinian neuroma of the hand can follow local trauma or repetitive microtrauma. Implicated traumas were either recent or remote, and they sometimes occurred while performing manual tasks at work. We concluded that the referred case could plausibly be considered work-related.
Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health 11/2010; 37(3):253-8. · 3.12 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To identify efficient PubMed search strategies to retrieve articles regarding putative occupational determinants of conditions not generally considered to be work related.
Based on MeSH definitions and expert knowledge, we selected as candidate search terms the four MeSH terms describing 'occupational disease', 'occupational exposure', 'occupational health' and 'occupational medicine' (DEHM) alongside 22 other promising terms. We first explored overlaps between the candidate terms in PubMed. Using random samples of abstracts retrieved by each term, we estimated the proportions of articles containing potentially pertinent information regarding occupational aetiology in order to formulate two search strategies (one more 'specific', one more 'sensitive'). We applied these strategies to retrieve information on the possible occupational aetiology of meningioma, pancreatitis and atrial fibrillation.
Only 20.3% of abstracts were retrieved by more than one DEHM term. The more 'specific' search string was based on the combination of terms that yielded the highest proportion (40%) of potentially pertinent abstracts. The more 'sensitive' string was based on the use of broader search fields and additional coverage provided by other search terms under study. Using the specific string, the numbers of abstracts needed to read to find one potentially pertinent article were 1.2 for meningioma, 1.9 for pancreatitis and 1.8 for atrial fibrillation. Using the sensitive strategy, the numbers needed to read were 4.4 for meningioma, 8.9 for pancreatitis and 10.5 for atrial fibrillation.
The proposed strings could help health care professionals explore putative occupational aetiology for diseases that are not generally thought to be work related.
Occupational and environmental medicine 10/2009; 67(7):436-43. · 3.64 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Rates of surgically treated carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) among blue- and white-collar workers and housewives in the general population were compared.
Surgically treated cases of idiopathic CTS were investigated among 25-59-year-old residents of Tuscany, Italy, during 1997-2000, based on obligatory discharge records from all Italian public/private hospitals, archived according to residence on Tuscany's regional database. Population data were extracted from the 2001 census.
After excluding repeat admissions, 8801 eligible cases were identified. Age-standardised rates (per 100 000 person-years) of surgical CTS were: "blue-collar women", 367.8; "white-collar women", 88.1; "housewives", 334.5; "blue-collar men", 73.5; and "white-collar men", 15.3. Compared with reference categories (same-sex white-collar workers): female blue-collar workers experienced a 4.2-fold higher standardised rate; housewives, a 3.8-fold excess; and male blue-collar workers, a 4.8-fold excess (all p<0.001). Male and female blue-collar workers showed approximately three to sevenfold higher age-specific rates compared to their white-collar counterparts (all p<0.001). Housewives' rates were similar to those of blue-collar female workers up to 40-44 years of age, after which they were significantly lower (p<0.002). At all ages, housewives' rates were much higher (p<0.001) than those of white-collar women.
Surgically treated CTS was three to seven times more common (depending on age/gender) in blue-collar than in white-collar workers, which is difficult to explain by differences in body weight or other individual factors. Thus, occupational risk factors seem relevant throughout working life. The high rates for full-time housewives suggest that domestic chores should be investigated as a possible risk factor for CTS.
Occupational and environmental medicine 04/2009; 66(5):299-304. · 3.64 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a socially relevant condition associated with biomechanical risk factors. We evaluated age-sex-specific incidence rates of in-hospital cases of CTS in central/northern Italy and explored relations with marital status.
Seven regions were considered (overall population, 14.9 million) over 3-6-year periods between 1997 and 2002 (when out-of-hospital CTS surgery was extremely rare). Incidence rates of in-hospital cases of CTS were estimated based on 1) codified demographic, diagnostic and intervention data in obligatory discharge records from all Italian public/private hospitals, archived (according to residence) on regional databases; 2) demographic general population data for each region. We compared (using the chiscore test) age-sex-specific rates between married, unmarried, divorced and widowed subsets of the general population. We calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for married/unmarried men and women.
Age-standardized incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years) of in-hospital cases of CTS were 166 in women and 44 in men (106 overall). Married subjects of both sexes showed higher age-specific rates with respect to unmarried men/women. SIRs were calculated comparing married vs unmarried rates of both sexes: 1.59 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.57-1.60) in women, and 1.42 (95% CI, 1.40-1.45) in men. As compared with married women/men, widows/widowers both showed 2-3-fold higher incidence peaks during the fourth decade of life (beyond 50 years of age, widowed subjects showed similar trends to unmarried counterparts).
This large population-based study illustrates distinct age-related trends in men and women, and also raises the question whether marital status could be associated with CTS in the general population.
BMC Public Health 02/2008; 8:374. · 2.00 Impact Factor