RSS Medical Articles

Retrospective exposure assessment to airborne asbestos among power industry workers
Σάβατο, 06.26.2010, 10:05pm
Background:A method of individually assessing former exposure to asbestos fibres is a precondition of risk-differentiated health surveillance. The main aims of our study were to assess former levels of airborne asbestos exposure in the power industry in Germany and to propose a basic strategy for health surveillance and the early detection of asbestos related diseases.Methods:Between March 2002 and the end of 2006, we conducted a retrospective questionnaire based survey of occupational tasks and exposures with airborne asbestos fibres in a cohort of 8632 formerly asbestos exposed power industry workers. The data on exposure and occupation were entered into a specially designed computer programme, based on ambient monitoring of airborne asbestos fibre concentrations. The cumulative asbestos exposure was expressed as the product of the eight-hour time weighted average and the total duration of exposure in fibre years (fibres/cubic centimetre-years).Results:Data of 7775 (90 % of the total) participants working in installations for power generation, power distribution or gas supply could be evaluated. The power generation group (n = 5284) had a mean age of 56 years, were exposed for 20 years and had an average cumulative asbestos exposure of 42 fibre years. The occupational group of"metalworkers"(n = 1600) had the highest mean value of 79 fibre years. The corresponding results for the power distribution group (n = 2491) were a mean age of 45 years, a mean exposure duration of 12 years and an average cumulative asbestos exposure of only 2.5 fibre years. The gas supply workers (n = 512) had a mean age of 54 years and a mean duration of exposure of 15 years.Conclusions:While the surveyed cohort as a whole was heavily exposed to asbestos dust, the power distribution group had a mean cumulative exposure of only 6 % of that found in the power generation group. Based on the presented data, risk-differentiated disease surveillance focusing on metalworkers and electricians from the power generating industry seems justified. That combined with a sensitive examination technique would allow detecting asbestos related diseases early and efficiently.
Patterns of pulmonary dysfunction in asbestos workers: a cross-sectional study
Σάβατο, 06.26.2010, 10:05pm
Background:Restrictive patterns of pulmonary function abnormalities associated with asbestos exposure are well described. Studies are less consistent, however, regarding the association of asbestos inhalation with airway dysfunction and obstructive impairment.Methods:We compared pulmonary function test results between 277 chrysotile exposed workers (22% non-smokers) and 177 unexposed controls (50.3% non-smokers). Information on exposure and smoking were collected using a standardized questionnaire. Standardized spirometric and DCLO Measurement methods were utilized. CXRs were read based on ILO pneumoconiosis guidelines.Results:Asbestos exposed subjects had significantly reduced FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC and DLCO. Restricting the analysis to non-smokers, asbestos workers still had about 3% lower FEV1/FVC ratio than controls, but this difference did not reach statistical significance. Among exposed workers, the presence of radiographic evidence of asbestosis further lowered FVC and DLCO but not FEV1/FVC compared to asbestos exposure without radiographic asbestosis. Additionally, smoking asbestos workers had significantly lower DLCO compared to non-smoking workers.Conclusion:Asbestos exposure, especially when radiographic evidence of interstitial fibrosis from asbestosis is present, leads to significant decreases in FVC, FEV1 and the DLCO. However, asbestos exposure alone is not significantly associated with a reduction of the FEV1/FVC. Smoking-asbestos workers had significantly lower DLCO than their non-smoking counterparts. Whether asbestos interacts with smoking additively or synergistically on DLCO needs further investigation. Similarly, further studies are needed to assess the progression and clinical significance of asbestos induced airway dysfunction.
Berlin's medical students'smoking habits, knowledge about smoking and attitudes toward smoking cessation counseling
Τρίτη, 06.22.2010, 05:13pm
Background:Diseases associated with smoking are a foremost cause of premature death in the world, both in developed and developing countries. Eliminating smoking can do more to improve health and prolong life than any other measure in the field of preventive medicine. Today's medical students will play a prominent role in future efforts to prevent and control tobacco use.Methods:A cross-sectional, self-administered, anonymous survey of fifth-year medical students in Berlin, Germany was conducted in November 2007. The study explored the prevalence of smoking among medical students. We assessed their current knowledge regarding tobacco dependence and the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods. Students'perceived competence to counsel smokers and promote smoking cessation treatments was also explored. Analyses were based on responses from 258 students (86.6% response rate).Results:One quarter of the medical students surveyed were current smokers. The smoking rate was 22.1% among women, 32.4% among men. Students underestimated smoking-related mortality and the negative effect of smoking on longevity. A considerable number of subjects erroneously assumed that nicotine causes coronary artery disease. Students'overall knowledge of the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods was inadequate. Only one third of the students indicated that they felt qualified to counsel patients about tobacco dependence.Conclusions:This study reveals serious deficiencies in knowledge and counseling skills among medical students in our sample. The curriculum of every medical school should include a tobacco module. Thus, by providing comprehensive training in nicotine dependence interventions to medical students, smokers will have access to the professional expertise they need to quit smoking.
Occupational risk of overweight and obesity: an analysis of the Australian Health Survey
Τρίτη, 06.22.2010, 05:13pm
Background:Adults spend about one third of their day at work and occupation may be a risk factor for obesity because of associated socioeconomic and behavioral factors such as physical activity and sedentary time. The aim of this study was to examine body mass index (BMI) and prevalence of overweight and obesity by occupation and explore the contributions of socioeconomic factors and lifestyle behaviors (including leisure time and commuting physical activity, diet, smoking, and alcohol) to occupational risk.Methods:Secondary analyses of the National Health Survey in Australia (2005) were conducted for working age adults (20 to 64 years). Linear and logistic regression models using BMI as either dichotomous or continuous response were computed for occupation type. Model 1 was age-adjusted, Model 2 adjusted for age and socioeconomic variables and Model 3 adjusted for age, socioeconomic variables and lifestyle behaviours. All models were stratified by gender.Results:Age-adjusted data indicated that men in associate professional (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.10-1.63) and intermediate production and transport (OR 1.24 95% CI 1.03-1.50) occupations had a higher risk of BMI>25 kg/m2 than those without occupation, and women in professional (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.61-0.82), management (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.56-0.92) and advanced clerical and service occupations (OR 0.73 95% CI 0.58-0.93) had a lower risk. After adjustment for socioeconomic factors no occupational group had an increased risk but for males, professionals, tradesmen, laborers and elementary clerical workers had a lower risk as did female associate professionals and intermediate clerical workers. Adjustment for lifestyle factors explained the lower risk in the female professional and associate professionals but failed to account for the lower odds ratios in the other occupations.Conclusions:The pattern of overweight and obesity among occupations differs by gender. Healthy lifestyle behaviors appear to protect females in professional and associate professional occupations from overweight. For high-risk occupations lifestyle modification could be included in workplace health promotion programs. Further investigation of gender-specific occupational behaviors and additional lifestyle behaviors to those assessed in the current Australian Health Survey, is indicated.
Driving Distractions
Τρίτη, 06.22.2010, 04:23pm
Source: HealthDay - Video
Related MedlinePlus Page: Impaired Driving
FDA Approves First Diagnostic Assay to Detect Both HIV Antigen and Antibodies
Δευτέρα, 06.21.2010, 08:25pm
Source: Food and Drug Administration
Related MedlinePlus Page: AIDS
Aspirin and Diabetes
Δευτέρα, 06.21.2010, 03:09pm
Source: HealthDay - Video
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Diabetes, Heart Diseases, Pain Relievers, Seniors' Health
Higher Testosterone Tied to Heart Trouble in Older Men
Δευτέρα, 06.21.2010, 01:00pm

Further study may unravel whether hormone levels actually cause the problem, researcher says

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Source: HealthDay
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Heart Diseases, Hormones, Men's Health
Obesity Doesn't Always Guarantee Heart Disease
Δευτέρα, 06.21.2010, 01:00pm

Those without other risk factors may not develop the condition, study suggests

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Source: HealthDay
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Heart Diseases, Obesity
Most Heart Patients Skimp on Exercise After Rehab
Κύριακη, 06.20.2010, 12:00am

A year later, only 37 percent were doing cardio exercises 3 times a week, study finds

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Source: HealthDay
Related MedlinePlus Pages: Exercise and Physical Fitness, Heart Diseases, Rehabilitation
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