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White fingers, cold environment, and vibration: exposure among Swedish construction workers
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, SE-851 86 Sweden. (Arcum)
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital of Northern Sweden, Umeå, Sweden. (Arcum)
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, ISSN 0355-3140, E-ISSN 1795-990X, ISSN 1795-990X, Vol. 36, no 6, 509-513 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the association between white fingers, cold environment, and exposure to hand–arm vibration (HAV). The hypothesis was that working in cold climate increases the risk of white fingers.

Methods The occurrence of white fingers was investigated as a cross-sectional study in a cohort of Swedish male construction workers (N=134 757). Exposure to HAV was based on a job-exposure matrix. Living in the north or south of Sweden was, in a subgroup of the cohort, used as an indicator of the exposure to cold environment (ie, living in the north meant a higher exposure to cold climate). The analyses were adjusted for age and use of nicotine products (smoking and snuff).

Results HAV-exposed workers living in a colder climate had a higher risk for white fingers than those living in a warmer climate [odds ratio (OR) 1.71, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.42–2.06]. As expected, we found that HAV-exposed workers had an increased risk compared to controls (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.75–2.34). The risk for white fingers increased with increased level of exposure to HAV and also age.

Conclusions Cold environment increases the risk for white fingers in workers occupationally exposed to HAV. The results underscore the need to keep exposure to HAV at workplaces as low as possible especially in cold climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 36, no 6, 509-513 p.
Keyword [en]
climate, hand–arm vibration, HAV, occupation, raynaud’s phenomenon, smoking, snuff
National Category
Occupational Therapy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-39304DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.3072ISI: 000283701800011PubMedID: 20567796OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-39304DiVA: diva2:390395
Available from: 2011-01-21 Created: 2011-01-21 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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