Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Heart Disease, Occupational Health, Sleep Disorders / 27.04.2021

Circadian misalignment is associated with a high cardiovascular risk among shift workers: Interview with: Sara Gamboa Madeira Medical Doctor - General & Family Physician PhD Student - EnviHealth&Co - Faculty of Medicine Lisbon University What is the background for this study? Response: One in every five employees work in shifts across Europe1. Shift work have been associated with an increased risk for several cardiovascular diseases2 and three main mechanism have been proposed: unhealthy behaviours, disturbed sleep, and circadian misalignment. This study focused on the role of circadian misalignment, which we assessed via social jetlag. Social jetlag is calculated using the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire3 by the difference between sleep behaviour on free-days (mainly driven by the individual “biological clock”, also called chronotype) and sleep behaviour on workdays (mainly drive by the “social clock”, namely work schedules). Chronotype is an individual feature which ranges from early/morning people to late/evening people (from proverbial lark to owls), with the majority of the population falling in between as a Gaussian distribution. Therefore higher levels of social jetlag mean a greater mismatch between what your biological clock need (e.g. go to sleep at 9pm) and what your social obligations impose on you (e.g. work until midnight). (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Circadian Rhythm, JAMA, Occupational Health / 27.02.2021 Interview with: Dr Tapio Räihä Center for Life Course Health Research University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland What is the background for this study? sleep-work-occupational-chronotypeResponse: In ageing societies, understanding risk factors for pre-term disability pensions and poor work ability is an important research priority. We studied whether individual-level chronotype could contribute to these.  Previous research has shown that evening chronotypes (E-types) have poorer health compared with morning chronotypes (M-types), and that E-types may have difficulties to function during standard morning working hours. This study was the first population-level study with register linkage to find out whether eveningness would be associated with poor work ability and disability pensions, too. We surveyed chronotype (with the Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire) among 5831 non-retired Finns born in 1966 when they were at age 46 years, and compared it with their current perceived work ability. We then followed the emergence of new registered disability pensions during the next 4 years. Multivariate logistic and Cox regression analyses of the associations between chronotype and the outcomes were separately adjusted for sleep, health and behaviours, sociodemographic and economic factors, or working times  (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health / 16.11.2020 Interview with: Emily Barrett, PhD Associate Professor Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Rutgers School of Public Health What is the background for this study? Response: We started this study in the very early stages of the pandemic to look at SARS-CoV-2 viral transmission and disease severity in health care workers as compared to non-health care workers.  There was a tremendous amount of fear and uncertainty about the virus and the early anecdotal reports coming out of China and Italy highlighted the plight of many frontline health care workers who had been infected on the job. We knew that our U.S. health care workers would soon be facing this tremendous challenge. We started this study to examine risks of infection in our vulnerable frontline health care workers and a comparison group of non-health care workers. Our results are from the early stages of the U.S. pandemic in March-April 2020. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Occupational Health / 03.11.2020 Interview with: Fan-Yun Lan, MD, MS PhD candidate in Population Health Sciences | Environmental Health Graduate School of Arts and Sciences & T.H. Chan School of Public Health Harvard University What is the background for this study? Response: Existing evidence has indicated that essential workers are heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they are not able to benefit from mitigation policies. Their occupational exposures increase their own risk to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and increase the risk of secondary transmissions to their colleagues, families and communities. Research, however, has largely focused on healthcare workers with relatively limited literature investigating non-healthcare essential workers. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Heart Disease / 05.11.2019 Interview with: Rachel E. Climie PhD INSERM U970, Paris Cardiovascular Research Center (PARCC) Integrative Epidemiology of Cardiovascular Disease Team, University de Paris, Paris, France. What is the background for this study? Response: It is well known that physical activity (PA) is beneficial for cardiovascular health. However, little consideration is given as to whether different domains of PA have differing associations with health outcomes. Indeed, recent work has shown that high amounts of PA at work are associated with increased risk of early death, however the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this study, we explored the relationship between physical activity at work, during leisure time and as structured sport with baroreflex sensitivity. We distinguished between the mechanical (dependent on the stiffness of the arterial wall) and neural (nerve impulses sent by the receptors on the walls of the artery) components of the baroreflex. Importantly, baroreflex sensitivity is crucial for short- term blood pressure control and reduced baroreflex function is related to higher risk of cardiac mortality and sudden death.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Occupational Health, Pulmonary Disease / 24.10.2019 Interview with: Orianne Dumas, PhD INSERM Aging and Chronic Diseases, Epidemiological and Public Health Approaches,Villejuif, University de Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Montigny le Bretonneux France What is the background for this study? Response: Exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants is common at work and at home and remains more frequent among women. Exposure levels are particularly high in the health care industry. The respiratory health risks associated with exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants are increasingly recognized. Although investigators have primarily focused on asthma, the irritant properties of many chemicals contained in disinfectants support the study of a broader range of respiratory effects, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Occupational Health / 07.08.2019 Interview with: Devan Hawkins ScD Instructor of Public Health School of Arts and Sciences MCPHS University What is the background for this study? Response: As has been well established, mortality due to opioids has been increasing rapidly in recent years. We were interested in understanding whether mortality rates may be high among workers in certain industries and occupations for two primary reasons. First, if we were to find that mortality rates differed according to industry and/or occupation it might indicate that some aspect of these industries and occupations put workers at elevated risk for opioid-related overdose death. Second, interventions could be created to target these workers and hopefully prevent more deaths. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Emergency Care, Occupational Health, Opiods / 02.05.2019 Interview with: Sophia K. Chiu, MD Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health CDC What is the background for this study? Response:  Responders across the United States are reporting work-related health effects during incidents in which suspected opioids (including fentanyl) and other illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, cathinones, and synthetic cannabinoids are present, often as a mixture. These health effects have interfered with responders’ ability to perform their job duties. Since 2018, a number of responder organizations have requested that NIOSH investigate the health effects experienced by emergency responders during these response incidents. These organizations are looking for ways to protect their responders and prevent the symptoms responders have reported experiencing, so that they can in turn better serve the public. NIOSH’s goal is to increase awareness among responders of how they can remain safe while providing the care the public needs. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Lymphoma, Occupational Health, Toxin Research / 23.04.2019 interview with: Sylvain Lamure, MD, Hematologist, Principal Investigator Pascale Fabbro-Peray, MD, PhD , Epidemiologist, Senior Investigator University of Montpellier, France What is the background for this study? Response: Occupational exposure to pesticides is a well-documented associated factor for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The main biological mechanisms of both pesticides and chemotherapy are genotoxicity and reactive oxygen species generation. Cellular adaptation among patients exposed to low doses of genotoxic and oxidative compounds might hinder chemotherapy efficiency in lymphoma patients. T hus, we have investigated the association of occupational exposure with response to immunochemotherapy and survival in the subgroup of diffuse large B cell lymphoma, whose treatment is standardized. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, OBGYNE, Occupational Health / 26.03.2019 Interview with: Luise Mølenberg Begtrup Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are indications that working fixed night shifts is associated with a higher risk of miscarriage. Since many women work rotating shifts including night shifts, we were interested in examining the association between the amount of night work and miscarriage. We were able to do this by use of detailed exposure data based on payroll data. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Nutrition, Occupational Health / 30.01.2019 Interview with: Stephen Onufrak, PhD Epidemiologist, Obesity Prevention and Control Branch Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, GA What is the background for this study? Response: With more than 150 million working adults in the United States, workplaces represent a far reaching setting for chronic disease prevention and health promotion. While research suggests that workplace wellness efforts can be effective at changing health behaviors, little is known about the foods that people acquire at work. In this study, we used data from the US Department of Agriculture Food Acquisition and Purchasing Survey (FoodAPS) to investigate workplace food acquisitions among employed adults during a 7 day study period. The foods we examined included those purchased in places like cafeterias and vending machines as well as those acquired for free at meetings, social events, common areas, or shared by coworkers. They did not include foods brought from home by someone to eat at work themselves or food acquired by the employee at offsite restaurants.  (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Diabetes, Occupational Health / 24.11.2018 Interview with: "Night Shift" by Yuchung Chao is licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0Dr. Zhilei Shah PhD Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety Ministry of Education Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public Health Tongji Medical College, Huazhon University of Science and Technology Wuhan,  China What is the background for this study? Response: Shift work has progressed in response to changes in economic pressure and greater consumer demand for 24-hour services. There are many economic advantages to increased shift work, including higher employment, increased services to customers, and improved trade opportunities. Currently, one in five employees in the U.S. works nonstandard hours in the evening, night, or rotating shifts. However, shift work, especially night shift work, has been associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer. Compelling evidence has shown that body weight and lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking, diet, and physical activity can influence type 2 diabetes risk. Among shift workers, excess adiposity and increased smoking are frequently and consistently reported, whereas the evidence on physical activity and diet is mixed. Additionally, no previous study has examined the joint associations of rotating night shift work duration and unhealthy lifestyle factors with risk of type 2 diabetes, or evaluated their potential interactions. Therefore, we prospectively assessed the joint association of rotating night shift work and established type 2 diabetes lifestyle risk factors with risk of type 2 diabetes and quantitatively decomposed the proportions of the joint association to rotating night shift work alone, to lifestyle alone and to their interaction in two large US cohorts. (more…)
Author Interviews, Occupational Health, Rheumatology / 01.11.2018 Interview with: Dr. W. Benjamin Nowell, Ph.D. Director of Patient-Centered Research CreakyJoints, study co-author Co-principal investigator of ArthritisPower What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can diminish patients’ work productivity and increase the risk of long-term disability, economic insecurity and worsening health, but limited research informs these issues. The purpose of our study was to examine associations between patients’ RA disease activity and their productivity and workplace support, using real-world data from the ArthritisPower research registry. Our study looked at a sample of participants with RA who had a history of or current treatment with non-biologic and/or biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) (n=296). Among the study sample, 74 percent had high disease activity (HDA) as determined by RAPID3 (>12), a common measure of disease activity in RA.
  • High disease activity was associated with lower education (p<0.001) and higher likelihood of disability (9%, p<0.001) compared to those without high disease activity.
    • Patients with HDA missed more days of work than non-HDA patients (mean: 6.1 vs 3.8 days, respectively; p=0.03), but non-HDA participants reported more days off due to medical appointments (2.6 vs 1.2 days, respectively) while HDA patients missed more days due to RA treatment side effects (mean: 0.5 vs 0.1 days, respectively).
  • Based on scores from the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire, RA seems to affect work productivity to a greater extent in participants with HDA than without (WPAI scores 5.3 and 3.3, respectively; p<0.001). Participants who were not currently employed reported having more physically demanding tasks (e.g. heavy load lifting) and less workplace flexibility (e.g. working from home) in their most recent paid position than currently employed participants.
  • However, in a multivariate regression analysis, we found that participants who could request changes in work start and stop times on a daily basis were 2.9 (95% CI: 1.53, 5.46) times more likely to be unemployed (adjusting for age, disease activity, and satisfaction with social participation) than those unable to make this request (p<0.0001).
About ArthritisPower: Created by CreakyJoints and supported by a multiyear, multimillion dollar investment by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), ArthritisPower is the first-ever patient-centered research registry for joint, bone, and inflammatory skin conditions. The free ArthritisPower mobile and desktop application allows patients to track and share their symptoms and treatments while also participating in voluntary research studies in a secure and accessible manner. ArthritisPower Patient Governors serve as gatekeepers for researchers who seek access to registry data or solicit the community to participate in unique, voluntary studies. To learn more and join ArthritisPower, visit  (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression, Gender Differences, Occupational Health / 02.08.2018 Interview with: “Professional waitress” by Shih-Chi Chiang is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sarah Andrea, MPH School of Public Health OHSU-PSU What is the background for this study? Response: We spend one-third of our adult lives at work, and our work-related experiences and exposures affect our health. 14 million people work in the leisure and hospitality industry, a subset of the service industry that includes food service and personal care workers. This industry is simultaneously one of the fastest growing and lowest paid. In addition, work in this industry is frequently characterized by lack of control over hours and shifts worked, as well as insufficient access to health care and other benefits. Studies have previously found the highest burden of depression and sleep problems for workers in this industry compared to others. Individuals working in the service industry who earn the bulk for their income from tips from customers face additional vulnerabilities. In many states, tipped workers are paid as little as $2.13 an hour and rely on customers to make up the difference in tips, which are inequitable and unpredictable. Prior to this study, the potential health implications of tipped work were minimally assessed. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gender Differences, Occupational Health, Sexual Health / 30.07.2018 Interview with: Brittany M. Charlton, ScD, Assistant Professor Harvard Medical School Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston Children's Hospital Boston, MA What is the background for this study? Response: Research has shown that nearly half of all sexual minorities (e.g., lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals) experience employment discrimination in their lifetime, which may lead to many other disparities, including health insurance coverage, healthcare access, and ultimately health-related quality of life (e.g., pain, anxiety). (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, Melanoma, Occupational Health / 18.07.2018 Interview with: “Brad at Santa Monica Pier on Ferris Wheel” by Brad Cerenzia is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sonia Duffy, PhD, RN, FAAN Professor, College of Nursing The Ohio State University What is the background for this study? Response: Prior to conducting a tobacco cessation study with Operating Engineers, I conducted a survey of 498 Operating engineer and found that many of them were at risk for sun burning, which can lead to skin cancer.  So as a follow up study, I conducted a study to prevent sun burning, which randomized 357 Operating Engineers to were randomized to four interventions: education only; education and text message reminders; education and mailed sunscreen; and education, text message reminders, and mailed sunscreen. (more…)
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Microbiome, Occupational Health, PNAS / 15.07.2018 Interview with: Dr. Hans Van Dongen, PhD Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center. ELSON S. FLOYD COLLEGE OF MEDICIN Washington State University Spokane, WA What is the background for this study? Response: Night shift workers are at increased risk of metabolic disorders, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and cancer. Although it is believed that the biological clock – the master circadian clock in the brain – plays an important role in these adverse chronic health consequences of night shift work, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Diabetes, Occupational Health / 03.07.2018 Interview with: Mahée Gilbert-Ouimet, PhD Postdoctoral fellow/Chercheure postdoctorale Institute for Work & Health Hôpital du St-Sacrement,  Québec What is the background for this study?  Response: Diabetes is one of the primary causes of death worldwide, in addition to being a major risk factor for several other chronic diseases including cardiovascular diseases. Considering the rapid and substantial increase of diabetes prevalence, identifying modifiable risk factors is of major importance. In this regard, long work hours have recently been linked with diabetes, but more high-quality prospective studies are needed. Our study evaluated the relationship between long work hours and the incidence of diabetes among 7065 workers over a 12-year period in Ontario, Canada. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Occupational Health / 13.02.2018 Interview with: “Night Shift - Hard@Work (5of8)” by cell105 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Céline Vetter Assistant Professor Department of Integrative Physiology University of Colorado at Boulder Boulder, CO What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Shift work, particularly night shifts, can change our social rhythms, as well as the internal biological rhythms including our sleep, and these effects could explain why shift work is linked to conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, we don’t know which type of shift pattern is most strongly linked to type 2 diabetes. In addition, we know that some lifestyle factors can modify the link between a genetic predisposition to a disease and the disease itself, but we don’t know if this applies to shift work and type 2 diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Exercise - Fitness, NIH, Occupational Health / 18.01.2018 Interview with: Taylor M. Shockey, MPH Title 42 Fellow Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies NIOSH What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Research has linked repeated exposure to occupational ergonomic hazards, such as frequent exertion and frequent standing, to injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among workers. To determine the industry and occupation groups that have the highest prevalence rates of frequent exertion at work and frequent standing at work, NIOSH researchers analyzed 2015 National Health Interview Survey data. The results showed large differences among the groups with the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (70.9%) and the construction and extraction occupation group having the highest prevalence of frequent exertion and standing at work (76.9%). These differences indicate a need for targeted interventions to reduce workplace exposure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Occupational Health, Social Issues / 10.08.2017 Interview with: Professor Tarani Chandola Cathie Marsh Institute and Social Statistics University of Manchester Co-director of the National Centre for Research Methods International Centre for Lifecourse Studies in Society & Health What is the background for this study? Response: The study examined the common perception that “any job is better than no job” to see whether this was true in terms of chronic stress levels. It followed up a group of unemployed adults representative of adults living in the UK, and compared their health and stress levels in terms of those who remained unemployed and those who became re-employed in poor and good quality work. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Occupational Health / 28.06.2017 Interview with: Taylor M. Shockey MPH CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health CDC What is the background for this study? Response: Our study examined health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among 22 major occupation groups using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data. The BRFSS is an annual telephone survey that collects data from U.S. residents on their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. HRQOL is an individual’s self-perception of their physical and mental health over time and it provides a valuable measure of well-being. HRQOL is used by a variety of different fields, outside of public health, including psychology, social work, economics, and urban planning. HRQOL is a measure capable of linking these different fields and is used to determine disease burden, to monitor progress in achieving the Healthy People goals, to guide policy and legislation, to develop interventions, and to allocate resources where they are most needed. The Healthy People goals are 10-year targets for improving the health of Americans through health promotion activities and disease prevention efforts. In relation to occupation, prior research that has evaluated HRQOL has typically focused on employment status, but not on specific job type. It’s been established, however, that job characteristics such as high demand, low control, role stress, bullying, work hours, etc., are associated with greater risk for common mental health problems as well as physical outcomes like headaches, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems. Our study wanted to determine if differences in HRQOL would exist among occupation groups. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Occupational Health / 05.05.2017 Interview with: Sandhya Manohar, MBBS, Nephrology Fellow Project mentor: Sandra M. Herrmann, MD Department of Nephrology and Hypertension Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN What is the background for this study? Response: In the last few decades advances in the field of industrialization and technology has turned our world into a 24-7 work zone. Many organizations have turned to a shift system to keep up with the demands of the new world. The consequent changes to our circadian rhythm have resulted in dramatic effects to our body’s physiology. Reports have been surfacing of higher rates of diabetes, obesity, and even cancer in this shift work population. The risk of hypertension though was controversial and so we set out to review this in our meta-analysis. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Occupational Health / 27.01.2017 Interview with: Prof. Dr. Regina Kunz Professorin für Versicherungsmedizin Evidence-based Insurance Medicine I Departement Klinische Forschung Universitätsspital Basel Basel Switzerland What is the background for this study? Response: Many workers seek wage replacement benefits due to a disabling illness or injury. Public and private insurance systems provide wage replacement benefits for such employees, as long as eligibility criteria are met. Insurers often arrange for evaluation of eligibility by medical professionals, but there are concerns regarding low quality evaluations and poor reliability between medical experts assessing the same claimant. In order to better understand this situation, we performed a systematic review of reproducibility studies on the inter-rater agreement in evaluation of disability. We carried out a systematic review of 23 studies, conducted between 1992-2016, from 12 countries in Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, and Northeast Asia. The studies include those carried out in an insurance setting, with medical experts assessing claimants for work disability benefits, and in a research setting, where evaluation of patients took place outside of actual assessments, for example, for rehabilitation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Occupational Health, Orthopedics / 31.12.2016 Interview with: Kurt T. Hegmann, M.D., M.P.H. Director, Rocky Mtn. Center for Occupational and Environmental Health Chief, Division of Occupational and Environmental Health The University of Utah Health Care What is the background for this study? Response: This line of work for us began approximately 20 years ago. Normal tendons never rupture, as the weak point when loading the muscle-tendon unit is either the muscle-tendon junction (i.e., a true muscle strain) or bone-tendon junction. Researchers in the 1960s reported there is poor blood supply in the area of rotator cuff tendon tears, providing one of the two main etiological theories of rotator cuff tears. The other main theory is “impingement syndrome” or a biomechanical impingement in the shoulder joint. Though who experience this might find that they need something similar to this shoulder dislocation surgery. Naturally, both theories could co-exist. Next, we noted rotator cuff tendinitis and shoulder risks from tobacco in other studies. We also reported prior research of increased risks with obesity. These led us to the theory that these rotator cuff tears are likely vascular in etiology. The next problem was to show this. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Occupational Health / 12.10.2016 Interview with: Rasmus Rørth MD From Department of Cardiology Rigshospitalet University of Copenhagen, Denmark What is the background for this study? Response: Heart failure is considered to be one of the most common, costly, disabling and deadly medical conditions and is thus a major health care problem. The ability to maintain a full-time job addresses a vital indirect consequence and cost of heart failure, beyond the usual clinical parameters such as mortality and hospitalization. Ability to work is more than just another measure of performance status. As well as its financial importance, employment is crucial for self-esteem and quality of life in patients with chronic illness. Obtaining information on labour force inclusion should, therefore, shed light on an unstudied consequence of heart failure and provide a novel perspective on the impact of heart failure on the lives of those who, perhaps, have most to lose from this condition. (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Microbiome, Pulmonary Disease / 06.07.2016 Interview with: Genevieve Marchand Ph.D., RMCCM SCCM(Env) Microbiologiste agréée & Biochimiste Chercheure, Prévention des risques chimiques et biologiques IRSST What is the background for this study? Response: It is well known that Health Care Workers (HCWs) are at risk of occupationally acquired infections. Some procedures, such as bronchoscopies, are recognized to be high-risk tasks. Most researches that have linked infectious risk to specific task in healthcare settings did not measure the real bioaerosol exposure. Those link where mostly made from epidemiology observations. The aim of this study was to qualify and quantify the real bioaerosol concentrations found during bronchoscopy procedures in order to estimate the true occupational risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Circadian Rhythm, Endocrinology, Lifestyle & Health, Occupational Health, Sleep Disorders, Stroke / 02.06.2016 Interview with: David Earnest, Ph.D. Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Earnest: When body clocks are disrupted, as they are when people engage in shift work or go to bed and get up at radically different times every few days, more severe ischemic strokes can result. What should readers take away from your report? Dr. Earnest:  Whenever possible, go to bed and get up at the same time each day and keep regular mealtimes. If you do need to keep an irregular schedule, it is especially important to be mindful of stroke risk and try especially hard to eliminate other risk factors, such as hypertension and obesity. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Hearing Loss, Occupational Health / 06.05.2016 Interview with: Elizabeth A. Masterson, PhD CPH Dr. Masterson is an epidemiologist in the NIOSH Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies CDC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Masterson: Occupational hearing loss, primarily caused by high noise exposure, is the most common work-related illness in the United States. It is a permanent but entirely preventable condition. Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared the prevalence of hearing impairment within nine industry sectors and the associated impact on quality of life for noise-exposed workers. Hearing impairment is hearing loss that impacts day-to-day activities. The Mining sector had the highest prevalence of workers with any hearing impairment, and with moderate or worse impairment, followed by the Construction and Manufacturing sectors. Impact on quality of life was measured by calculating disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). DALYs represented the number of healthy years lost because of hearing impairment. This study found that 2.5 healthy years were lost each year for every 1,000 noise-exposed U.S. workers because of hearing impairment. These lost years of good health were shared among the 13% of workers with hearing impairment (about 130 workers out of each 1,000 workers). Mining, Construction and Manufacturing workers lost more healthy years than workers in other industry sectors (3.5, 3.1 and 2.7 healthy years lost, respectively, each year for every 1,000 workers). Mild impairment accounted for 52% of all healthy years lost and moderate impairment accounted for 27%.  (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Occupational Health, Toxin Research / 24.10.2015 Interview with: Geoffrey M. Calvert MD Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health CDC Cincinnati, Ohio Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Calvert: Since 1987, acute occupational pesticide-related illness and injury has been one of the conditions under surveillance by NIOSH. NIOSH supports these surveillance activities by providing cooperative agreement funding and technical support to state health departments. The SENSOR-Pesticides program is also partially funded by EPA. A total of 12 states currently participate in the SENSOR-Pesticides program. With the 2015 publication of the Summary of Notifiable Non-Infectious Conditions and Disease Outbreaks – United States, official statistics for the occurrence of acute occupational pesticide-related illness and injury were published for the first time in the same volume of the MMWR with information on nationally notifiable infectious diseases. (more…)