Bernardino Ramazzini and the new epidemics of work-related disorders.

Dipartimento di Medicine e delle Specialità Mediche, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Largo del Pozzo, 71-41100, Modena, Italy.
Medicina nei secoli 01/2011; 23(2):425-41.
Source: PubMed


Work-related diseases (such as musculoskeletal disorders, neoplasms cardiocirculatory and psycho-social problems disorders) represent an increasing problem that countries are becoming aware of. In particular, musculoskeletal disorders, affecting workers in a variety of occupations, are a major cause of lost time from work and workers' disability. The paper reviews Ramazzini's observations of musculoskeletal disorders of subjects working in the second half of the seventeenth century. He observed that several clinical pictures were linked to a variety of factors (prolonged stationary postures, unnatural postures, repetition of movements, heavy muscular performance) and stressed the need to provide workforce with hygienic measures and information about hazards and preventive measures. It is worthy to stress that Ramazzini's observations, based on original intuitions and critical reasoning, anticipate the modern approach based on epidemiological principles.

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    ABSTRACT: The well-being of leaders represents a complex responsibility for their private doctors. Bernardino Ramazzini, known as the founder of occupational medicine, drew the attention on the essential role of a doctor to preserve the health of social leaders and other people form the upper class society. This paper reviews Ramazzini’s observations, from the early seventeenth century, on the health of high ranking people of his time. To teach these people how to keep their health was mentioned in one of Ramazzini’s rather unknown work. His work focused on the role of the doctor and on the particular preventative measures for the health and the treatment of high ranking people. From this point of view, the book gained a more contemporary meaning. Living in a healthy environment, keeping moderation in eating and drinking, having a daily exercise schedule, a good personal hygiene and a healthy sleep schedule, and cultivating self-control are the preventative key points exposed in this book. The key to success is the continuous medical education of the private doctors. These rules are still valid today and not only for the health of the leaders or people of wealthy backgrounds.
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