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  • 1.
    Burström, Lage
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Aminoff, Anna
    Björ, Bodil
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Manttari, Sate
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Rintamaki, Hannu
    Rodin, Ingemar
    Shilov, Victor
    Talykomv, Ljudmila
    Vaktskjold, Arild
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Musculoskeletal symptoms and exposure to whole-body vibration among open-pit mine workers in the arctic2017In: International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, ISSN 1232-1087, E-ISSN 1896-494X, Vol. 30, no 4, p. 553-564Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: This cross-sectional questionnaire study was carried out at 4 open-pit mines in Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden as part of the MineHealth project. The aim has been to compare the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms between drivers of mining vehicles and non-drivers. Material and Methods: The mine workers were asked whether they had suffered from any musculoskeletal symptoms during the previous 12 months in specified body regions, and to grade the severity of these symptoms during the past month. They were also asked about their daily driving of mining vehicles. Results: The questionnaire was completed by 1323 workers (757 vehicle drivers) and the reported prevalence and severity of symptoms were highest for the lower back, followed by pain in the neck, shoulder and upper back. Drivers in the Nordic mines reported fewer symptoms than non-drivers, while for Russian mine workers the results were the opposite of that. The daily driving of mining vehicles had no significant association with the risk of symptoms. Female drivers indicated a higher prevalence of symptoms as compared to male drivers. Conclusions: The study provided only weak support for the hypothesis that drivers of vehicles reported a higher prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms than non-vehicle drivers. There were marked differences in the prevalence of symptoms among workers in various enterprises, even though the nature of the job tasks was similar.

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  • 2.
    Burström, Lage
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Björ, Bodil
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Rödin, Ingemar
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Thermal perception thresholds among workers in a cold climate2017In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 90, no 7, p. 645-652Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PURPOSE: To investigate whether exposure to cold could influence the thermal perception thresholds in a working population.

    METHODS: This cross-sectional study was comprised of 251 males and females and was carried out at two mines in the northern part of Norway and Sweden. The testing included a baseline questionnaire, a clinical examination and measurements of thermal perception thresholds, on both hands, the index (Digit 2) and little (Digit 5) fingers, for heat and cold.

    RESULTS: The thermal perception thresholds were affected by age, gender and test site. The thresholds were impaired by experiences of frostbite in the fingers and the use of medication that potentially could affect neurosensory functions. No differences were found between the calculated normative values for these workers and those in other comparative investigations conducted in warmer climates.

    CONCLUSIONS: The study provided no support for the hypothesis that living and working in cold climate will lead to impaired thermal perception thresholds. Exposure to cold that had caused localized damage in the form of frostbite was shown to lead to impaired thermal perception.

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  • 3.
    Burström, Lage
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Hagberg, Mats
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Box 414, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Liljelind, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Physics (CMTF).
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, SE-851 86 Sweden.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Box 414, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.
    A follow-up study of welders’ exposure to vibration in a heavy engineering production workshop2010In: Journal of Low Frequency Noise Vibration and Active Control, ISSN 0263-0923, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 33-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Manual work involving vibrating power tools is associated with symptoms that include vascular, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. This study examines the vibration exposure of welders to determine the change between 1987 and 2008. Vibration measurements on handheld tools were used to evaluate the acceleration and the daily exposure time was determined by subjective rating. From these data, the 8-hour equivalent vibration exposure A(8), has been calculated. During the period, the A(8) decreased from 3.9 m/s2 to 1.9 m/s2. It was concluded that this decrease is the result of fewer vibrating tools and a decrease in daily exposure time. Although the daily vibration exposure has decreased over the study time, for some welders the daily vibration exposure A(8) is still above the action value set by the EU directive on vibration. This means more effort should be spent to decrease vibration exposure.

  • 4.
    Burström, Lage
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Hyvärinen, Ville
    Johnsen, Magnar
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.
    Exposure to whole-body vibration in open-cast mines in the Barents region2016In: International Journal of Circumpolar Health, ISSN 2242-3982, E-ISSN 2242-3982, Vol. 75, article id 29373Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: We aimed to measure and evaluate whole-body vibration (WBV) exposure among drivers of mining vehicles in the Barents region.

    STUDY DESIGN: In the period from November 2012 to August 2014, this cross-sectional study was carried out at 3 mines in Finland, Norway and Sweden as part of the MineHealth project.

    METHODS: Measurements of WBV were conducted on the surface of the driver's seat during normal work in accordance with international standards. Personal data on daily exposure times were collected by a questionnaire.

    RESULTS: Measurements were conducted on 95 different mining vehicles both as root mean square (RMS) value and vibration dose value (VDV) representing different manufacturers, models and capacities. Of the 453 miners who answered the questionnaire, 232 indicated that they were exposed to WBV during their working day. The results show that the mean daily exposure time varies between 1.9 and 6.7 h for different vehicles. The calculated mean A(8) could be found in an interval between 0.2 and 1.0 m/s(2) and the corresponding 8-h VDV fell between 7 and 17 m/s(1.75).

    CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to WBV among operators of mining vehicles may be a serious health and safety problem in the mines studied. The employers ought, therefore, take active steps to reduce exposure in accordance with the European vibration directive. Moreover, since some groups of drivers are exposed to vibration that is close to or exceeds the exposure limit values, the employer should take immediate action to reduce exposure below these values.

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  • 5.
    Carlsson, Daniel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Neurosensory and vascular function after 14 months of military training comprising cold winter conditions2016In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, ISSN 0355-3140, E-ISSN 1795-990X, Vol. 42, no 1, p. 61-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the effects of 14 months of military training comprising cold winter conditions on neurosensory and vascular function in the hands and feet.

    METHODS: Military conscripts (N=54) were assessed with quantitative sensory testing comprising touch, temperature, and vibration perception thresholds and finger systolic blood pressure (FSBP) after local cooling and a questionnaire on neurosensory and vascular symptoms at both baseline and follow-up. Ambient air temperature was recorded with body worn temperature loggers.

    RESULTS: The subjects showed reduced sensitivity to perception of touch, warmth, cold and vibrations in both the hands and feet except from vibrotactile perception in digit two of the right hand (right dig 2). Cold sensations, white fingers, and pain/discomfort when exposed to cold as well as pain increased in both prevalence and severity. There were no statistically significant changes in FSBP after local cooling.

    CONCLUSION: Fourteen months of winter military training comprising cold winter conditions reduced sensation from touch, warmth, cold, and vibrotactile stimulus in both hands and feet and increased the severity and prevalence of symptoms and pain. The vascular function in the hands, measured by FSBP after local cooling, was not affected.

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  • 6.
    Carlsson, Daniel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Hagberg, Mats
    Avd för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa vid Institutionen för medicin, Göteborgs universitet.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Can sensation of cold hands predict Raynaud’s phenomenon or paresthesia?2018In: Occupational Medicine, ISSN 0962-7480, E-ISSN 1471-8405, Vol. 68, no 5, p. 314-319Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Raynaud's phenomenon and neurosensory symptoms are common after hand-arm vibration exposure. Knowledge of early signs of vibration injuries is needed. Aims: To investigate the risk of developing Raynaud's phenomenon and paraesthesia in relation to sensation of cold hands in a cohort of male employees at an engineering plant. Methods: We followed a cohort of male manual and office workers at an engineering plant in Sweden for 21 years. At baseline (1987 and 1992) and each follow-up (1992, 1997, 2002, 2008), we assessed sensation of cold, Raynaud's phenomenon and paraesthesia in the hands using questionnaires and measured vibration exposure. We calculated risk estimates with univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses and adjusted for vibration exposure and tobacco usage. Results: There were 241 study participants. During the study period, 21 individuals developed Raynaud's phenomenon and 43 developed paraesthesia. When adjusting the risk of developing Raynaud's phenomenon for vibration exposure and tobacco use, the odds ratios were between 6.0 and 6.3 (95% CI 2.2-17.0). We observed no increased risk for paraesthesia in relation to a sensation of cold hands. Conclusions: A sensation of cold hands was a risk factor for Raynaud's phenomenon. At the individual level, reporting a sensation of cold hands did not appear to be useful information to predict future development of Raynaud's phenomenon given a weak to moderate predictive value. For paraesthesia, the sensation of cold was not a risk factor and there was no predictive value at the individual level.

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  • 7. Jonsson, David
    et al.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Association between Pain in Adolescence and Low Back Pain in Adulthood: Studying a Cohort of Mine Workers2017In: Pain Research and Treatment, ISSN 2090-1542, E-ISSN 2090-1550, Vol. 2017, article id 3569231Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To study the association of self-reported pain in adolescence with low back pain (LBP) in adulthood among mine workers and, also, study associations between the presence of LBP over 12-month or one-month LBP intensity during a health examination and daily ratings of LBP three and nine months later. Methods: Mixed design with data collected retrospectively, cross-sectionally, and prospectively. Data was collected using a questionnaire during a health examination and by using self-reported daily ratings of LBP three and nine months after the examination. Results: Pain prevalence during teenage years was 55% and it was 59% at age 20. Pain during teenage years had a relative risk of 1.33 (95% confidence interval 1.03-1.73) of LBP 12 months prior to the health examination, but with no associations with LBP intensity or LBP assessed by text messaging. Pain at age 20 years was not associated with any measure of LBP in adulthood. Daily ratings of LBP were associated with LBP during the health examination three and nine months earlier. Conclusions: There were no clear associations between self-reported pain in adolescence and LBP in adulthood. Self-reported daily ratings of LBP were associated with LBP from the health examination. Possible limitations for this study were the retrospective design and few participants.

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  • 8.
    Liljelind, Ingrid
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Leif
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Toomingas, Allan
    Karolinska Institutet, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Unit of Occupational Medicine SE-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Determinants Explaining the Variability of Hand-Transmitted Vibration Emissions From Two Different Work Tasks: Grinding and Cutting Using Angle Grinders2013In: Annals of Occupational Hygiene, ISSN 0003-4878, E-ISSN 1475-3162, Vol. 57, no 8, p. 1065-1077Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: There are numerous factors including physical, biomechanical, and individual that influence exposure to hand-transmitted vibration (HTV) and cause variability in the exposure measurements. Knowledge of exposure variability and determinants of exposure could be used to improve working conditions. We performed a quasi-experimental study, where operators performed routine work tasks in order to obtain estimates of the variance components and to evaluate the effect of determinants, such as machine–wheel combinations and individual operator characteristics.

    Methods: Two pre-defined simulated work tasks were performed by 11 operators: removal of a weld puddle of mild steel and cutting of a square steel pipe. In both tasks, four angle grinders were used, two running on compressed air and two electrically driven. Two brands of both grinding and cutting wheels were used. Each operator performed both tasks twice in a random order with each grinder and wheel and the time to complete each task was recorded. Vibration emission values were collected and the wheel wear was measured as loss of weight. Operators’ characteristics collected were as follows: age, body height and weight, length and volume of their hands, maximum hand grip force, and length of work experience with grinding machines (years). The tasks were also performed by one operator who used four machines of the same brand. Mixed and random effects models were used in the statistical evaluation.

    Results: The statistical evaluation was performed for grinding and cutting separately and we used a measure referring to the sum of the 1-s r.m.s. average frequency-weighted acceleration over time for completing the work task (a sa). Within each work task, there was a significant effect as a result of the determinants ‘the machine used’, ‘wheel wear’, and ‘time taken to complete the task’. For cutting, ‘the brand of wheel’ used also had a significant effect. More than 90% of the inherent variability in the data was explained by the determinants. The two electrically powered machines had a mean a sa that was 2.6 times higher than the two air-driven machines. For cutting, the effect of the brand of wheel on a sa was ~0.1 times. The a sa increased both with increasing wheel wear and with time taken to complete the work task. However, there were also a number of interaction effects which, to a minor extent, modified the a sa. Only a minor part (1%) of the total variability was attributed to the operator: for cutting, the volume of the hands, maximum grip force, and body weight were significant, while for grinding, it was the maximum grip force. There was no clear difference in a sa between the four copies of the same brand of each machine.

    Conclusions: By including determinants that were attributed to the brand of both machine and wheel used as well as the time taken to complete the work task, we were able to explain >90% of the variability. The dominating determinant was the brand of the machine. Little variability was found between operators, indicating that the overall effect as due to the operator was small.

  • 9.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Risk of hearing loss from combined exposure to hand-arm vibrations and noise2013Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Hearing loss from noise exposure is one of the most common occupational injuries, and exposure to vibrations may increase the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Earlier cross-sectional and longitudinal studies found an increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss among workers with vibration-induced white fingers (VWF) symptoms compared to workers without such symptoms. It has been suggested that vibrations to the hand stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and cause vasoconstriction in both the exposed hand and the ears and that this contributes to noise-induced hearing loss. The overall aim of this thesis was to examine how hand-arm vibrations (HAV) interact with noise in the development of noise-induced hearing loss.

    The experimental study in this thesis examined the effects of HAV and noise, both separately and combined, on the temporary threshold shift (TTS) in hearing in 22 healthy male and female subjects. The two longitudinal studies in this thesis were based on a cohort of 189 male workers at a heavy engineering workshop. The first cohort study examined the risk of noise-induced hearing loss from long-term exposure to HAV and noise. The second cohort study examined if workers with VWF had an increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss compared to workers without such symptoms. Finally, the questionnaire study in this thesis examined the occurrence of Raynaud’s phenomenon among 133 men and women with noise-induced hearing loss in relation to exposure to vibrations.

    In the experimental study, no differences in TTS in hearing were observed after combined exposure to HAV and noise compared to exposure to only noise. In the first cohort study, there was an increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss with increased exposure to HAV in a noisy environment. In the second cohort study, it was found that workers with VWF had an increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss compared to workers without VWF. In the questionnaire study, many men and women with noise-induced hearing loss had used hand-held vibrating machines suggesting that vibrations might contribute to noise-induced hearing loss. A high prevalence of Raynaud’s phenomenon was found among men.

    This thesis demonstrated that there was a long-term effect on noise-induced hearing loss from combined exposure to noise and HAV, but no short-term effect, and that having Raynaud’s phenomenon may also increase the risk of noise-induced hearing loss.

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  • 10.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Hagberg, Mats
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sundsvall Hospital, Sundsvall, Sweden.
    Noise and hand-arm vibration exposure in relation to the risk of hearing loss2012In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 14, no 59, p. 159-165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to examine the possible association of combined exposure of noise and hand-arm vibration (HAV) and the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Workers in a heavy engineering industry were part of a dynamic cohort. Of these workers, 189 had HAV exposure, and their age and hearing status were recorded in the same year and were, therefore, included in the analysis. Data on HAV duration and acceleration was gathered through questionnaires, observations, and measurements. All available audiograms were categorized into normal and hearing loss. The first exposure variable included the lifetime HAV exposure. The lifetime HAV exposure was multiplied by the acceleration of HAV for the second and third exposure variable. Logistic regression using the Generalized Estimation Equations method was chosen to analyze the data to account for the repeated measurements. The analysis was performed with both continuous exposure variables and with exposure variables grouped into exposure quartiles with hearing loss as an outcome and age as a covariate. With continuous exposure variables, the odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) for hearing loss was equal to or greater than one for all exposure variables. When the exposure variables were grouped into quartiles, the OR with a 95% CI was greater than one at the third and fourth quartile. The results show that working with vibrating machines in an environment with noise exposure increases the risk of hearing loss, supporting an association between exposure to noise and HAV, and the noise-induced hearing loss.

  • 11.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Hagberg, Mats
    Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Risk of Hearing Loss Among Workers with Vibration-Induced White Fingers2014In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, ISSN 0271-3586, E-ISSN 1097-0274, Vol. 57, no 12, p. 1311-1318Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: We examined the risk of hearing loss for workers who use hand-held vibrating tools with vibration-induced white fingers (VWF) compared to workers without VWF. Methods: Data on 184 participants from a 21-year cohort were gathered with questionnaires and measurements. The effects on hearing status of VWF, hand-arm vibration exposure, smoking habits, age and two-way interactions of these independent variables were examined with binary logistic regression. Analyses were made for the right hand and ear as well as for the hand with VWF and the ear with worse categorized hearing status. Results: Workers with VWF in their right hand had an increased risk of hearing loss (odds ratio 2.2-2.3) in the right ear. Workers with VWF in any hand did not have any increased risk of hearing loss in the ear with worse hearing status. Conclusions: This study supports the hypothesis that VWF increases the risk of hearing loss among workers who use hand-held vibrating tools in a noisy environment. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:1311-1318, 2014. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  • 12.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Hagberg, Mats
    University of Gothenburg, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Risk of hearing loss in relation to vibration-induced white fingers among workers using hand-held vibrating toolsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Vibration-induced white fingers (VWF) may increase the risk of hearing loss among workers using hand-held vibrating machines who are exposed to noise and hand-arm vibrations (HAV). The present study uses a 21-year follow-up cohort of workers who use hand-held vibrating machines. The aim of this study is to examine the risk of hearing loss for workers with and without VWF who use hand-held vibrating tools.

    Methods All 184 participants used hand-held vibrating machines and were part of a Swedish cohort. At each follow-up each participant answered a questionnaire on basic individual data, use of hand-held vibrating tools, and VWF symptoms. The VWF symptoms were categorized as with or without VWF. HAV acceleration was measured at each follow-up. Hearing threshold levels from audiometric measurements were categorized as normal hearing and hearing loss. Two exposure estimates were used and divided into two exposure groups: lifetime exposure to HAV (Time) and lifetime exposure to HAV multiplied by acceleration (TimeAcc). To be included in the analysis, each participant had to have hearing status, categorized VWF symptoms, exposure estimates and stated smoking habits measured in the same year for either 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, or 2008. The relationship between binary outcome of hearing status and the interaction of the explanatory variables, i.e. categorized VWF symptoms, exposure estimates, smoking habits and age, were calculated using binary logistic regression. Because of the repeated measurement of these variables, the Generalized Estimating Equations procedure with a first-order autoregressive correlation structure was used. Three analyses were made for left hand and left ear, right hand and right ear, and hand with worst categorized VWF symptoms and ear with worst categorized hearing status.

    Results In our study, there was an interaction between exposure estimates (Time and TimeAcc) with the variable categorized VWF symptoms in the left hand on the risk of hearing loss in the left ear. Workers with VWF in the left hand had an increased risk of hearing loss in the left ear if they were in the low exposure group (OR 4.7-7.1) but not in the high exposure groups. There was an increased risk of hearing loss in the left ear for workers in the high exposure group without VWF in the left hand (OR 3.3-3.6) but not for workers with VWF. Workers with VWF in their right hand had an increased risk of hearing loss (OR 2.2-2.3) in the right ear compared to workers without VWF. Workers with VWF on the hand with worst categorization according to the Stockholm Workshop Scale (SWS) for the vascular component did not have any increased risk of hearing loss in the ear with worse hearing status.

    Conclusions We found that workers with VWF who are using hand-held vibrating machines had an increased risk of hearing loss compared to workers without VWF. This result supports an association between VWF and an increased risk of hearing loss among workers using hand-held vibrating tools in a noisy environment.

  • 13.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Raynaud's phenomenon among men and women with noise-induced hearing loss in relation to vibration exposure2014In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 16, no 69, p. 89-94Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by constriction in blood supply to the fingers causing finger blanching, of white fingers (WF) and is triggered by cold. Earlier studies found that workers using vibrating hand-held tools and who had vibration-induced white fingers (VWF) had an increased risk for hearing loss compared with workers without VWF. This study examined the occurrence of Raynaud's phenomenon among men and women with noise-induced hearing loss in relation to vibration exposure. All 342 participants had a confirmed noise-induced hearing loss medico legally accepted as work-related by AFA Insurance. Each subject answered a questionnaire concerning their health status and the kinds of exposures they had at the time when their hearing loss was first discovered. The questionnaire covered types of exposures, discomforts in the hands or fingers, diseases and medications affecting the blood circulation, the use of alcohol and tobacco and for women, the use of hormones and whether they had been pregnant. The participation rate was 41% (n = 133) with 38% (n = 94) for men and 50% (n = 39) for women. 84 men and 36 women specified if they had Raynaud's phenomenon and also if they had used hand-held vibrating machines. Nearly 41% of them had used hand-held vibrating machines and 18% had used vibrating machines at least 2 h each workday. There were 23 men/6 women with Raynaud's phenomenon. 37% reported WF among those participants who were exposed to hand-arm vibration (HAV) and 15% among those not exposed to HAV. Among the participants with hearing loss with daily use of vibrating hand-held tools more than twice as many reports WF compared with participants that did not use vibrating hand-held tools. This could be interpreted as Raynaud's phenomenon could be associated with an increased risk for noise-induced hearing loss. However, the low participation rate limits the generalization of the results from this study.

  • 14.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Burström, Lage
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    The effect on the temporary threshold shift in hearing acuity from combined exposure to authentic noise and hand-arm vibration2011In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 84, no 8, p. 951-957Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examined and compared the effect on temporary threshold shift in hearing (TTS) in healthy subjects of noise and hand-arm vibration (HAV) combined and separately using controlled and authentic exposure conditions. This study also investigated the effect on TTS in hearing in relation to gender after such exposures.

    Twenty-two healthy subjects (11 men/women, mean age 22 years, range 18-31 years) were exposed both separately and in combination with HAV (6.7 m/s(2)), using vibrating handles and to noise (99dB(A)) using headphones, for 20 min. The HAV and noise were reproduced from recordings from angular grinder in operation. Hearing thresholds at 1, 4, and 8 kHz were measured before and up to 30 min after exposure. 

    Combined exposure to noise and HAV created significantly greater TTS in hearing than HAV exposure at 4 and 8 kHz alone. After exposure to HAV, there was no significant change in hearing threshold. At 1 kHz, there was a significant difference between noise and HAV exposure in TTS in hearing. There was no significant difference between combined exposure and noise exposure for any test frequency. There was no significant difference in TTS in hearing in relation to gender for 1, 4, and 8 kHz for HAV, noise, or a combined exposure.

    The results indicate that there is no difference in the TTS in hearing after combined exposure compared to noise exposure alone. HAV exposure did not change the hearing threshold. The TTS in hearing did not differ significantly in relation to gender after HAV, noise, or combined exposure.

  • 15.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Olsson, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Järvholm, Bengt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Occupational Exposure to Noise and Cold Environment and the Risk of Death Due to Myocardial Infarction and StrokeIn: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The present study examined a possible association between occupational exposure to noise, working and living in cold conditions, and the risk of mortality in myocardial infarction and stroke.

    Methods

    The present cohort study consists of 194 501 workers in the Swedish construction industry that participated in health examinations between 1971 and 1993. Noise exposure was defined on a job-exposure matrix based on a survey of the working conditions carried out during the mid 1970s. All workers were categorised into three main regions of Sweden, differing in temperature: Reference (Götaland), colder (Svealand), and coldest (Norrland). Relative risks (RR) were analysed by negative binomial regression adjusting for age, BMI, and smoking habits.

    Results

    Moderate and high noise exposure was associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction (RR 1.10 to 1.13 with 95% CI over unit) and stroke mortality (RR 1.15 to 1.19 with 95% CI over unit). There was an increased risk for myocardial infarction (RR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.20), but not for stroke mortality (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.25) associated with living and working in the coldest region. There was an interaction on the risk of myocardial infarction mortality between different regions and noise exposure (p = 0.016), but not for stroke mortality (p = 0.88).

    Conclusions

    The study indicates an interaction between working at hazardous noise levels and living and working in cold conditions for increased mortality in myocardial infarction.

  • 16.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Olsson, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Järvholm, Bengt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health.
    Occupational exposure to noise and cold environment and the risk of death due to myocardial infarction and stroke2020In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PURPOSE: The present study examined a possible association between occupational exposure to noise, working and living in cold conditions, and the risk of mortality in myocardial infarction and stroke.

    METHODS: The present cohort study consists of 194,501 workers in the Swedish construction industry that participated in health examinations between 1971 and 1993. Noise exposure was defined on a job-exposure matrix based on a survey of the working conditions carried out during the mid 1970s. All workers were categorised into three main regions of Sweden, differing in temperature: Reference (Götaland), colder (Svealand), and coldest (Norrland). Relative risks (RR) were analysed by negative binomial regression adjusting for age, BMI, and smoking habits.

    RESULTS: Moderate and high noise exposure was associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction (RR 1.10-1.13 with 95% CI over unit) and stroke mortality (RR 1.15 to 1.19 with 95% CI over unit). There was an increased risk for myocardial infarction (RR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01-1.20), but not for stroke mortality (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.94-1.25) associated with living and working in the coldest region. There was an interaction on the risk of myocardial infarction mortality between different regions and noise exposure (p = 0.016), but not for stroke mortality (p = 0.88).

    CONCLUSIONS: The study indicates an interaction between working at hazardous noise levels and living and working in cold conditions for increased mortality in myocardial infarction.

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  • 17.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.
    Rissanen, Sirkka
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Rintamäki, Hannu
    Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland; Research Unit of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, Finland..
    Skin temperature responses to hand-arm vibration in cold and thermoneutral ambient temperatures2018In: Industrial Health, ISSN 0019-8366, E-ISSN 1880-8026, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 545-552Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Hand-arm vibration (HAV) from hand-held vibrating machines increases the risk of injury in the form of vasoconstriction in the fingers, commonly named as vibration induced white fingers (VWF). Cold temperature may increase that risk. This experimental study examined and compared the effects of the skin temperature of the hands during and after exposure to HAV in thermoneutral and cold conditions. Fourteen subjects were exposed to three conditions: 25°C with HAV, 5°C with HAV or 5°C without HAV. Their skin temperatures were continuously recorded for the thumbs, index fingers, palms, and back of hands. After 20 min of acclimatization, the subjects held, for five min, two handles where the right handle could vibrate at 5 m/s2 and the left was stationary. Finally, they released their grip and stood still for 10 more min. HAV had no additional cooling effect in cold during gripping of the handles. After the subjects released the handles there was only a HAV-induced cooling effect in the left palm with on average 0.5°C colder skin temperature. A single exposure to HAV will not cause an injury such as VWF, but as the present study show: short-term exposure to HAV causes some changes in skin temperature.

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  • 18.
    Pettersson, Hans
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Sjödin, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Buller2017In: Miljöälsorapport norr 2017: hälsa och miljö i norra Sverige / [ed] Karl Forsell och Bertil Forsberg, Umeå: Norrlands universitetssjukhus , 2017, p. 26-29Chapter in book (Other academic)
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  • 19.
    Stjernbrandt, Albin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Björ, Bodil
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Lundström, Ronnie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Liljelind, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Manifestations of cold sensitivity: a case series2020In: International Journal of Circumpolar Health, ISSN 1239-9736, E-ISSN 2242-3982, Vol. 79, no 1, p. 1-10, article id 1749001Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: To characterise cold sensitivity using a semi-structured interview, physical examination, thermal quantitative sensory testing (QST), and laser speckle contrast analysis (LASCA). Methods: Eight women and four men, ages 22–74, with cold sensitivity were interviewed andexamined by an occupational physician. Thermal perception thresholds were established using QST, on the pulp of the index and little finger of the most affected hand. Skin perfusion in the dorsum of the hand was measured using LASCA, at baseline, after two-minute 12°C water immersion, and during rewarming. Results: The physical examination yielded few findings indicative of vascular or neurosensory pathology. One subject (8%) had impaired thermal perception thresholds. LASCA at baseline showed absent proximal-distal perfusion gradients in six subjects (50%), and a dyshomogeneousperfusion pattern in five (42%). Perfusion on a group level was virtually unchanged by cold stress testing (median 52.5 PU; IQR 9.0 before versus 51.3 PU; IQR 27.2 afterwards). Conclusions: Physical examination and thermal QST offered little aid in diagnosing cold sensitivity, which challenges the neurosensory pathophysiological hypothesis. LASCA indicated disturbances in microvascular regulation and could prove a useful tool in future studies on cold sensitivity.

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  • 20.
    Stjernbrandt, Albin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital of Umeå, 901 85, Umeå, Sweden. .
    Carlsson, Daniel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Liljelind, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Cold sensitivity and associated factors: a nested case–control study performed in Northern Sweden2018In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 91, no 7, p. 785-797Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim To identify possible risk factors for cold sensitivity, by comparing cases to controls with regard to demographic and anthropometric characteristics, previous illnesses and injuries as well as ambient exposures.

    Methods Through a questionnaire responded to by the general population (n=12,627) cold sensitivity cases (n=502) and matched controls (n=1,004) were identified and asked to respond to a second questionnaire with focus on different aspects of cold sensitivity, hereditary factors, previous diseases, medication, tobacco use as well as exposure to ambient cold climate and hand-arm vibration (HAV).

    Results In total, 997 out of 1506 study subjects answered the second questionnaire, 374 cases and 623 match controls. Identified risk factors among the cases were frostbite of the hands Odds Ratio (OR) 10.3 (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.5-19.3), rheumatic disease OR 3.1 (95% CI 1.7-5.7), upper extremity nerve injury OR 2.0 (95% CI 1.3-3.0), and vascular disease OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.2-2.9). Sex differences in risk factors were HAV exposure for men and cold exposure for women increased the risk of cold sensitivity. Rheumatic diseases and migraine increased the risk of cold sensitivity among women but not among men.

    Conclusions The present study shows that cold sensitivity is associated with both inherent factors, acquired conditions and external exposures. Among acquired conditions, frostbite, vascular disease, nerve injury, joint disorders and migraine are significantly related to the reporting of cold sensitivity. Among external exposures, both cold climate and HAV exposure are significantly associated to cold sensitivity, and thus suitable targets for primary preventive measures. There was a difference in risk factors related to sex. HAV exposure for men and cold exposure for women increased the risk of cold sensitivity.

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  • 21.
    Stjernbrandt, Albin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Pettersson, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Liljelind, Ingrid
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Nilsson, Tohr
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Wahlström, Jens
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
    Raynaud's phenomenon in Northern Sweden: a population-based nested case-control study2019In: Rheumatology International, ISSN 0172-8172, E-ISSN 1437-160X, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 265-275Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to determine the association between individual and external exposure factors, and the reporting of Raynaud’s phenomenon, with or without concomitant cold sensitivity. In a population-based nested case–control study, cases with Raynaud’s phenomenon (N = 578), and matched controls (N = 1156), were asked to respond to a questionnaire focusing on different risk factors. Univariate and multiple conditional logistic regression were performed. Analyses were stratified according to whether the cases reported cold sensitivity or not. In total, 1400 out of 1734 study subjects answered the questionnaire (response rate 80.7%). In the final multiple model, the factor with the strongest association to Raynaud’s phenomenon, with and without cold sensitivity, was previous frostbite affecting the hands (OR 12.44; 95% CI 5.84–26.52 and OR 4.01; 95% CI 1.78–9.01, respectively). Upper extremity nerve injury was associated to reporting Raynaud’s phenomenon and cold sensitivity (OR 2.23; 95% CI 1.29–3.85), but not Raynaud’s phenomenon alone. Reporting any exposure to hand-arm vibration or cumulative cold exposure was significant in univariate analyses for cases with both Raynaud’s phenomenon and cold sensitivity, but not in the multiple model. Raynaud’s phenomenon is strongly associated to previous cold injury, with a larger effect size among those who also report cold sensitivity. The fact that only upper extremity nerve injury differed significantly between case groups in our multiple model offers additional support to the neural basis for cold sensitivity.

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