[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
The objective of this study was to clarify the relationship between sickness presenteeism and the degree of awareness of company regulations regarding financial compensation for absenteeism.
An Internet-based survey of 258 full-time workers who had more than 28 days of sickness absence due to mental health problems was conducted. Workers were categorized as having either low or high sickness presenteeism, and awareness and presence or absence of systems for return to work and duration of financial compensation were compared between groups.
The following factors were significantly related to high sickness presenteeism based on logistic regression analyses: working for a private company (odds ratio [OR] = 2.57; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.10-5.99); recognition of a gradual resumption system (OR = 3.89, 95% CI = 1.02-14.81); and awareness regarding the duration of financial compensation (OR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.01-1.07).
No relationship was found between mental sickness presenteeism and presence or absence of systems for return to work in our multivariate analysis; however, a relationship was apparent between sickness presenteeism and characteristics of the workers' companies. These results are expected to contribute to research involving human resources and occupational health.
Journal of Occupational Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1539/joh.15-0083-OA · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of interventions by occupational health services on sick leave prompted by psychiatric disorders were examined with respect to intervention method and the number of sick leave days.
The intervention methods used by occupational health services were systematically reviewed by searching three databases and manual searching. A meta-analysis of the number of sick leave days comparing the intervention group [intervention + care as usual (CAU)] and control group (CAU alone) was performed. In addition, subanalyses were conducted for the duration until sick-listed workers' return to work after sick leave (Subgroup 1) and the number of non-sick-listed workers' total sick leave days (Subgroup 2).
Ten studies were extracted and integrated, and the subjects were subsequently sorted into the intervention group (n = 434, 322, and 756 in subgroup 1, subgroup 2, and total, respectively) and control group (n = 413, 385, and 798 in subgroup 1, subgroup 2, and total, respectively). All studies employed an intervention method of problem-solving treatment or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). There were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups in subgroup 1 or 2. However, the combined intervention group had significantly fewer total sick leave days than the combined control group (mean difference -6.64 days, 95 % CI -12.68 to -0.59, I (2) = 0 %).
The combined study of sick-listed and non-sick-listed workers indicates occupational health services implement problem-solving treatment or CBT interventions, which can shorten total sick leave duration.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 11/2014; 88(6). DOI:10.1007/s00420-014-0996-8 · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
This study examined the relationships among the support system for return to work, work rules about sick leave, and incidence of sick leave due to mental health failure.
A questionnaire was distributed to 150 workplaces with a history of use of the occupational health promotion center of a certain prefecture. The questionnaire asked about the number and duration of sick leaves due to mental health failure, the support system for return to work, and work rules about sick leave.
A significant correlation between the number of permanent staff and maximum period of sick leave was found (r=0.489, p<0.001), as well as a significant correlation between the number of permanent staff and the period of monetary compensation during sick leave (r=0.315, p=0.031). In addition, in 9 workplaces with more than 1,000 permanent staff, a significant correlation between the period of monetary compensation period during sick leave and incidence of sick leave was found (r=0.670, p=0.048), as well as a significant correlation between the period of monetary compensation during sick leave and the average length of sick leave (r=0.866, p<0.001).
The results of this study suggest the possibility that monetary compensation is associated with the duration of sick leave due to mental health failure. Hereafter, to construct a support system for mental health, consideration of the effect of monetary compensation appears to be required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the change of serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene-linked polymorphic region that has occurred during the process
of hominization, we examined the allelic variation of 5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) in anthropoid apes such
as chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans, and gibbons, and determined the DNA sequences of the alleles in each species. All chimpanzees
examined shared only the 17.5 repeat allele, while polymorphism was observed in the other apes and the 16 and 20 repeat alleles
were most frequent in gorillas and orang-utans, respectively. 5-HTTLPR was highly polymorphic in gibbons and the 17 and 23
repeat alleles were most common among 5 alleles. Alleles with extra-long repeated (22 and 23) sequences were found in orang-utans
and gibbons, and the alleles of these Asian apes were similar to the rhesus monkey allele.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was designed to investigate how the interaction between the ability of medical residents (doctors in postgraduate training) to cope with stress and their working conditions might affect their level of job-related stress.
A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 549 first-year medical residents at 38 postgraduate education hospitals in Japan, 1-2 months after the start of clinical training. The questionnaires contained the 29-item Sense of Coherence (SOC) Scale, the Brief Scales for Job Stress (BSJS), the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and questions on basic conditions such as working hours. Sense of coherence is an important concept from the viewpoint of salutogenesis theory and influences stress recognition style. People with a strong SOC have a high ability to cope with stress.
The mean +/- standard deviation (SD) score on the SOC Scale was 134.5 +/- 20.5. All participants were classified into three groups according to their SOC Scale scores. Although the objective working conditions of the three groups were statistically similar, the group with the weakest SOC Scale score showed poorer mental health status (p < 0.05) and scored lower for 'reward from work' compared with the groups with stronger SOC scores (p < 0.05). The weaker SOC group also scored higher for 'mental workload' and 'problems in personal relationships' than the other two groups (p < 0.05). Moreover, the weak SOC group scored less for 'support from colleagues and superiors' than the strong SOC group (p < 0.05). A stepwise multiple regression analysis for GHQ-12 score was conducted (R(2) = 0.45). 'Sleep time', 'workload', 'mental workload' and 'problems in personal relationships' were positively correlated with GHQ-12 scores. 'Reward from work' was negatively correlated with GHQ-12 scores.
Residents' mental health was associated not only with working conditions, but also with their attitudes towards those working conditions. Enhancing residents' sense of 'reward from work' might be important in reducing their reactions to stress.
Medical Education 08/2010; 44(8):826-34. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2923.2010.03725.x · 3.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: There is disagreement over the roles of biological and psycho-social factors in the prolongation of whiplash symptoms. The issue of whether differences in recovery time result from differences in the severity of physical injury or from non-physiological social variables, such as insurance compensation, remains unresolved. We examined, for one year, the circumstances of Japanese receiving treatment who had been in rear-end collisions during a specified time period, and were presumed to have whiplash injuries. Methods: Subjects were 6,167 adults over 20 years of age who had been examined at an emergency center or a general hospital for symptoms such as neck pain presumed to be the result of cervical hyperextension caused by rear-end collision. No abnormalities were detected by neurological examinations, nor by X-rays. Data collected included the following items: gender, age, area of residence, date of accident, date of initial examination, occupation, seat belt use, whether they were driver or passenger, awareness of impending collision, behavior after accident, method of transportation to initial examination, whether there was loss of consciousness, and duration of medical treatment. We calculated the odds-ratios [OR] of those who continued to receive treatment and those who did not at 1.5 months, 3 months, and 6 months post-trauma. Results: Factors such as: female gender, use of emergency vehicle transportation, and early complaint of symptoms were significantly correlated with persistence of symptoms at six months post-trauma, while employment status had no significant association with continued treatment. Conclusions: Our results suggest that although both biological and social factors increased the probability of short- and medium-term prolongation [1.5 months and 3 months], the biological variables were mainly found to influence long-term prolongation of whiplash symptoms [6 months].
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Via a large scale cross-sectional study among Japanese white color workers, the authors aimed to elucidate: (1) the distributions of Sense of Coherence (SOC), which reflect stress coping abilities, (2) the distributions of the Brief Scale for Coping Profile (BSCP) which reflect coping profiles for stressors; (3) and the association between SOC and BSCP. Anonymous self-administered questionnaires were sent to 20,742 employees at educational and research institutions in Tsukuba Research Park City. A total of 12,009 (57.9%) workers completed and returned the questionnaire; 10,317 workers without missing data were analyzed. SOC scale scores and BSCP subscale scores differed by gender, age, and other demographic features. Among the BSCP subscales, workers whose SOC scale scores were higher tended to adopt a problem-focused coping profile, whereas workers whose SOC scale scores were lower adopted an emotion-focused coping profile. The coping profile that workers adopted depended on their background and demographic characteristics. Stronger SOC allowed one to adopt a problem-focused coping profile that allows for better coping with work-related stressors.
Industrial Health 12/2009; 47(6):664-72. DOI:10.2486/indhealth.47.664 · 1.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Overweight and poor psychological well-being are becoming serious health issues in the Japanese workplace. Concurrence of those physical and mental conditions has been pointed out, especially in middle-aged workers. Therefore, we tried to determine common risk factors for body weight gain and the deterioration of psychological well-being in male middle-aged office workers using a five-year follow-up study.
We administered General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) as an indicator of psychological well-being to 110 male workers with ages ranging from 40-59 years, and analyzed the influence of several psychological factors, namely sense of coherence (SOC), health locus of control (HLC), and lifestyle variables such as exercise frequency, alcohol intake, smoking status, and dietary intake on changes of body mass index and GHQ-12 score.
McNemar's chi-squared test showed significant concurrence of weight gain and deterioration of psychological well-being after five-year follow-up. Low-SOC score, low frequency of exercise, and high-dietary intake at supper were significantly associated with both weight gain and poorer psychological well-being in workers, results which were supported by multiple regression analysis.
These results suggest that exercise and calorie restriction seem to prevent weight gain and promote psychological well-being in workers. Low SOC, which implies difficulty in coping with stress, may be an important risk factor not only for deterioration of psychological well-being but also for becoming overweight. These assumptions must be confirmed by conducting future intervention studies on SOC and lifestyle including exercise and eating behavior.
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 09/2009; 14(6):319-27. DOI:10.1007/s12199-009-0100-2
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly and is frequently accompanied by emotional disorder, including agitation. Although evidence of neuroendocrine immune and inflammatory functions during emotional changes has been accumulated, the pathogenic mechanisms in the development of agitation accompanied by AD remain to be elucidated.
To clarify the involvement of neuroendocrine and immune and inflammatory systems in agitation in AD, we examined agitation levels, circadian rhythms of behavior, cortisol, interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), and natural killer cell activity (NKCA) in controls without dementia and 16 AD patients who were recognized to be easily agitated in their nursing homes. These behavioral and blood indicators were assessed according to the progress of the stage of agitation in 16 AD patients (stable, pre-agitation, and agitation stages).
Elevations in night behavior and blood cortisol, IL-1beta and an reduced blood NKCA level in the evening were observed not only in the agitation stage, but also when stable in AD patients as compared to the control. Increased IL-1beta and decreased NKCA occurred in both the morning and evening in pre-agitation and agitation stages in AD.
The increased IL-1beta and decreased NKCA with the progress of agitation in AD suggest that inflammation produces agitation and aggravates AD.
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 01/2009; 25(6):604-11. DOI:10.1002/gps.2381 · 2.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The number of elderly workers has also been increasing and poor psychological well-being in elderly workers has been reported. The aim of this study is to elucidate the factors that are related to poor psychological well-being in elderly workers.
We administered General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12) as an indicator of psychological well-being to 330 male elderly workers in the age range of 50-69, and analyzed different psychological factors, namely sense of coherence (SOC), and physical and lifestyle variables such as blood pressure, serum total cholesterol, smoking frequency, alcohol intake, exercise frequency, and body mass index (BMI) that are related to GHQ-12.
When the cut-off point of GHQ-12 was 2/3, 97 workers who showed high GHQ-12 score were classified as one group having poor psychological well-being. A statistically significantly lower SOC score, higher stress score, lower frequency of exercise, higher smoking score and higher BMI, but not longer working hours or higher shift work score in the workers with higher GHQ-12 scores were observed than in the workers with normal GHQ-12 scores. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the low SCO score, low frequency of exercise, high smoking frequency and high BMI significantly contributed to the high GHQ-12 score.
A low SOC score in elderly workers is assumed to be directly related to poor psychological well-being, or via the development of lifestyle problems such as lack of exercise, obesity, and smoking in elderly workers. This assumption must be confirmed by conducting future intervention studies on lifestyle.
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 03/2007; 12(2):71-7. DOI:10.1007/BF02898152
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole genome scan analyses have revealed that the chromosomal region 3p21.3, which contains a gene cluster of the CC chemokine receptor, is possibly critical for the pathogenesis of allergic inflammation. Japanese cedar pollinosis is mediated by a type I allergy and induces seasonal rhinitis and conjunctivitis in humans as the most common form of hay fever in spring in Japan, although the candidate genes for cedar pollinosis remain to be elucidated. We sequenced CCR1, CCR2, CCR3, CCR5, and CCXCR1 using the PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism method in subjects with cedar pollinosis and controls. We found 8 polymorphisms of A111G, Arg127Cys and Arg252Gln in CCXCR1, T885C in CCR1, Val64Ile and T780C in CCR2, T51C in CCR3 and Arg223Gln in CCR5. The transmission disequilibrium test using 60 children with pollinosis and their parents and an association study using unrelated adult subjects (151 patients and 157 controls) showed a significant association of 64Ile in CCR2 and 51C in CCR3 with cedar pollinosis. The frequency of haplotype 64Ile/780C/51C in pollinosis was significantly higher than in controls. Our results suggest that CCR2 and CCR3 genes are candidate genes for Japanese cedar pollinosis.
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 02/2007; 142(4):329-34. DOI:10.1159/000097502 · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Japanese cedar pollinosis is the most common form of hay fever in spring in Japan. We have previously demonstrated that single nucleotide polymorphism Pro358Leu of exon 7 in the eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) gene is associated with cedar pollinosis, although the association has not been confirmed by analysis of the whole gene in a different population.
We sequenced all exons of the EPO gene in 60 children with pollinosis and their parents using the PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism method.
We found 8 polymorphisms, Ile40Met, Gln122His, Arg202Arg (A660G), Asn303Asn (C909T), Arg326Pro, Arg326His, Pro358Leu, and Asn572Ty, in the EPO gene. As a result of the transmission disequilibrium test, we recognized significant transmissions of 202Arg (660G) in exon 6 in addition to 358Leu of exon 7 in the EPO gene of affected children.
Our results might indicate that polymorphisms of the EPO gene are associated with Japanese cedar pollinosis.
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 10/2004; 135(1):40-3. DOI:10.1159/000080222 · 2.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human factors can significantly influence successful mission completion of prolonged space missions such as ISS expeditions or future Mars missions. This paper describes group dynamics and group interactions during SFINCSS-99, a very unique international long-term confinement study in a space mission analog environment. Many interpersonal or inter-group conflicts occurred, and these caused the early retirement of a Japanese subject. This paper cites examples of these conflicts, and analyzes their causes with our results. The international cooperation to extract lessons learned, which could be used to refine behavioral support programs for the ISS or similar international studies, is also introduced.
Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 08/2004; 75(7 Suppl):C28-35. · 0.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies suggest that heat stress affects placental functions including uteroplacental circulation, subsequently leading to pregnancy failure and birth weight reduction. To clarify the involvement of endothelin and placental prostaglandin (PG) systems in the uteroplacental circulation during heat stress, we examined the effects of i.v. administration of the endothelin receptor antagonist bosentan and the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin on uteroplacental blood flow and on placental PGE2 and PGF2alpha levels and their 13,14-dyhydro-15-keto-metabolites (PGEM and PGFM, respectively) in heat-exposed or non-heat-exposed pregnant rats. The administration of bosentan or indomethacin did not change uteroplacental blood flow in non-heat-exposed pregnant rats. In contrast, heat reduced uteroplacental blood flow in pregnant rats, but the reduction was reversed by the administration of bosentan or indomethacin before heat exposure. Heat did not change placental PGE2 or PGEM levels, but in pregnant rats it increased placental PGF2alpha and PGFM levels, which were reversed by bosentan or indomethacin. Our results suggest that the activation of placental endothelin receptor and PGF2alpha systems are involved in the uteroplacental circulatory disturbances produced by heat. PGF2alpha systems activated by heat may be involved in the vasoconstricting effects of endothelin-A and -B receptors during heat exposure.
Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 05/2004; 82(4):225-30. DOI:10.1139/y04-011 · 1.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Japanese cedar pollinosis is the most common form of hayfever in Japan in spring and has remarkably increased since 1960.
We sought to clarify the candidate genes for cedar pollinosis using a case-control study.
After diagnosing 351 subjects on the basis of an intradermal test, nasal provocation test, and questionnaire regarding nasal and conjunctival symptoms, we determined the blood-specific IgE values and genotypes of eosinophil peroxidase (EPO) and interleukin-4 receptor alpha-chain (IL4RA) in 145 patients with pollinosis and 206 healthy subjects, including 75 healthy subjects with higher specific IgE values.
We found significant differences in the frequencies of Pro358Leu in EPO and of Ile50Val and Glu375Ala in IL4RA between patients and healthy subjects. There was a significantly higher frequency of 358Leu in EPO in patients than in healthy subjects showing a higher specific IgE value. In contrast, we recognized significant changes in the prevalence of Ile50Val and Glu375Ala in IL4RA in healthy subjects with a normal IgE value compared with those in healthy subjects with a higher specific IgE value. The relationship between EPO polymorphisms and the onset of symptoms was exactly opposite that for IL4RA.
These results suggest that Pro358Leu in EPO is strongly involved in the development of cedar pollinosis. Ile50Val and Glu375Ala in IL4RA seem to be related to cedar pollen sensitization. Subjects with Ile50 or Glu375 might develop cedar pollinosis with increased exposure to cedar pollen.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 01/2004; 112(6):1127-31. DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2003.08.051 · 11.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cold water-immersion induces vasoconstriction with an elevation of blood endothelin-1, which is a potent vasoconstrictor peptide, in patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon (PRP). However, physiological involvement of endothelin-1 in cold-induced vasodilation (CIVD) remains to be elucidated.
We monitored changes of finger blood flow during cold water (10 degrees C) immersion and assayed blood endothelin-1 in 7 PRP patients and 7 workers with vibration-induced white finger (VWF) and in the respective control subjects.
While significant reductions in finger blood flow at 2 min after the immersion were observed in PRP patients and VWF workers, its elevation at 4 min, which was considered to reflect CIVD, was recognized only in PRP patients. In healthy controls, blood endothelin-1 increased at 4 min and returned to the basal level immediately after the immersion. The increase in blood endothelin-1 at 4 min in PRP patients was greater than that in controls, and continued even after the immersion. Conversely, the increase neither at 4 min nor after immersion was seen in VWF workers. Local vascular changes produced by repetitive vibration may be responsible for the attenuated CIVD and unchanged blood endothelin-1 during cold water-immersion in VWF workers.
Our results showing elevated blood endothelin-1 during and after immersion in PRP contrast with that in VWF suggesting that endothelin-1 is related to sympathetic hyperactivity which is more involved in PRP rather than VWF. It seems unlikely that endothelin-1 is functionally or directly associated with CIVD.
International angiology: a journal of the International Union of Angiology 10/2003; 22(3):243-9. · 0.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that a sense of coherence (SOC), a candidate for a mediating stress factor, is involved in natural killer cell activity (NKCA) reduced in smokers, whereas the relationship among exercise, NKCA and SOC is unclear. To clarify the effects of exercise on SOC and NKCA, we examined the changes in SOC and NKCA before and after health education to encourage exercise. Of one-hundred and one male office workers who received the health education for one year, 27 improved, 65 were unchanged and 9 had deteriorated exercise habits. The repeated measures analysis of variance showed that SOC in workers with improvement in the exercise habit were increased more significantly by the health education than those in workers without improvement (p<0.05). Although the change in NKCA produced by health education was recognized to be significantly different in those who had never smoked from that in current smokers (p<0.05), multiple regression analysis demonstrated that improvement in health practice significantly contributed to increases in both SOC (p<0.01) and NKCA (p<0.05) in never smokers, independently of other psychological factors. These results suggest that subjects with improvement in exercise enhance NKCA through increased SOC in never smokers.
Journal of Occupational Health 09/2003; 45(5):278-85. DOI:10.1539/joh.45.278 · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Exposure to high-density microwaves can cause detrimental effects on the testis, eye, and other tissues, and induce significant biologic changes through thermal actions. To examine nonthermal effect of continuous wave (CW) 915MHz microwaves used in cellular phones, we compared the effects of microwaves with those of heat. Thirty-six pregnant rats were assigned to six groups: rats exposed to microwaves at 0.6 or 3mW/cm(2) incident power density at 915MHz for 90min, rats immersed in water at 38 or 40 degrees C, which induces about the same increase in colonic temperature of 1.0 or 3.5 degrees C as 0.6 or 3mW/cm(2) microwaves, respectively; rats immersed in water at 34 degrees C, which is considered to be thermoneutral; and control rats. We identified significant differences in the uteroplacental circulation, and in placental endocrine and immune functions between pregnant rats immersed in water at 34 and 38 degrees C, but not between rats immersed at 38 degrees C and those exposed to microwaves at 0.6mW/cm(2). By contrast, we observed significant decreases in uteroplacental blood flow and estradiol in rats exposed to microwaves at 3mW/cm(2) as compared with those immersed in water at 40 degrees C. These results suggest microwaves at 0.6mW/cm(2) at 915MHz, equal to a specific absorption rate (SAR) of 0.4W/kg, which is the maximum permissible exposure level recommended by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), do not exert nonthermal effects on blood estradiol and progesterone, on splenic natural killer cell activity, on the uteroplacental circulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A case-control study was conducted to investigate possible predictors of response to antipsychotic treatment in acute schizophrenic patients. During a 14-month period, 13 female first-episode schizophrenic patients were included. According to their antipsychotic treatment response 8 weeks after admission, they were placed in either a good-response group (n = 8) or poor-response group (n = 5). Scores of the two groups differed on several items of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and during the following 8 weeks. At baseline, the maximum scores for Conceptual disorganization, Poor rapport, Passive/apathetic social withdrawal, and Stereotyped thinking in the good-response group were lower than the corresponding minimum scores in the poor-response group. Furthermore, minimum improvements after 1 week in scores for excitement in the good-response group were higher than the maximum improvements in the corresponding scores of the poor-response group. These PANSS items might serve as simple and rapid predictors of treatment resistance. In addition, Lack of judgment and insight significantly improved by 1 week, and further improved by 5 weeks in the good-response group. This suggests that treatment in the good-response group will be optimal if provided during a hospital stay of appropriate length.
General Hospital Psychiatry 01/2003; 25(1):39-45. DOI:10.1016/S0163-8343(02)00252-9 · 2.61 Impact Factor