To estimate the risk of bakers developing hand eczema. The importance of atopy was studied as well as change of job due to hand eczema.
A retrospective cohort study was performed among bakers trained in Swedish trade schools in 1961-89 (n = 2923). School referents followed other programmes (n = 1258); population controls were randomly selected from the general population (n = 1258). A questionnaire on self reported hand eczema, year of onset of hand eczema, change of work due to hand eczema, childhood eczema, family atopy, and work history was posted to all participants.
The incidence of hand eczema among male controls was 4.4-5.4 cases/1,000 person-years compared with 16.7 for bakery work. The corresponding figures for women were 11.3-14.1 compared with 34.4. The relative risk for male bakers was 3.5 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.8 to 4.5) and for female bakers 2.8 (2.2 to 3.6). Skin atopy increased the incidence about threefold and a synergistic effect of atopy and exposure was indicated. Also, bakers had changed job significantly more often than controls.
Swedish bakers, mainly working during the 1970s and 1980s, have about a threefold increased risk of hand eczema. There seems to be a synergistic effect of atopy and occupational exposure.
In a population-based survey of public health issues in Stockholm, Sweden, self-reported hand eczema, history of childhood eczema, nickel allergy, occurrence of skin symptoms on the face and intolerance to cosmetics and hygiene products, were investigated. A postal questionnaire was sent to 15,000 inhabitants aged 19-80 years. The response rate was 73%. The 1-year prevalence of hand eczema was 8% (females 10%, males 6%). History of childhood eczema was reported by 15% and, of these, 42% also stated positively that they had had hand eczema at some time. Hypersensitivity to nickel was owned to 15% of the females and 3% of the males. Of the nickel-sensitive, 30% reported ever having had hand eczema. The combination of nickel allergy and history of childhood eczema resulted in a cumulative prevalence of hand eczema of 56%. Females reported more hand-washings per day than did males, and a relation between number of hand-washings and hand eczema was found. Self-reported 1-year prevalence of skin symptoms on the face was 14% and, of these, 33% also owned to hypersensitivity to cosmetics. Dermatitis appears to be a common health problem. This fact should be made clear to those who give priority and allocate resources to health problems, e.g., by participation of dermatologists in performing population-based surveys.
Process and office workers at a Swedish paper mill (n = 274) and dairy workers (n = 45) were investigated with questionnaires regarding skin symptoms. In the second part of the study, subjects reporting skin symptoms and a random sample of subjects without symptoms were examined and investigated with patch testing. Pruritus and skin irritation probably related to exposure to dust were found. The results do not indicate an increased prevalence of contact allergy. In two cases, positive patch test reactions to paper size (rosin) and a slimicide, mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), were noted.
Skin exposure to water is considered to contribute to hand eczema. Knowledge about total water exposure during a day is scanty.
To investigate self-reported water exposure at work as well as throughout the day.
Skin exposure to water was assessed from two questionnaire-based health surveys: the nationwide Environmental Health Survey 2007 (EHS), which enquired about water exposure throughout the day, and the Stockholm Public Health Survey 2006 (PHS), which probed water exposure at work. Answers from 19,667 individuals (EHS) and 18,318 individuals (PHS) were available for analysis.
In total, 22% of respondents (women 30%, men 12%) reported skin exposure to water more than 20 times during an entire day (EHS) compared with 6% (women 8%, men 4%) at work (PHS). In a univariate analysis, using a merged file comprising data from the EHS and the PHS, water exposure more than 20 times a day was more common in the EHS (prevalence proportion ratio 3·570, 95% confidence interval 3·353-3·802). In multivariate models the variables studied did not fulfil the criteria for being confounders. Water exposure at work declined with increasing age in both women and men (P
BACKGROUND: Hand eczema is a skin disease often with a long-lasting and relapsing course. The long-term prognosis in the general population is unknown. OBJECTIVES: The aims were to examine the extent to which hand eczema had persisted and the medicosocial consequences of the disease. METHODS: In a 15-year follow-up of hand eczema, patients diagnosed in a previous population-based study were sent a questionnaire with 20 questions concerning the persistence and course of the disease, and its occupational and medicosocial consequences. RESULTS: Addresses were available for 1115 persons, of whom 868 answered the questionnaire. Sixty-six per cent of the respondents reported periods of hand eczema and 44% reported symptoms during the previous year, with no sex difference. Twelve per cent reported continuous eczema. However, 74% of those reporting symptoms considered that their hand eczema had improved; of these more were women than men (78% vs. 66%, P
Hand eczema is a common disease in the population and is of interest from a public health perspective. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is increasingly being measured in dermatology.
To investigate HRQoL in relation to hand eczema in the general population.
In the Public Health Survey of Stockholm County Council 2006, a questionnaire was sent to 57 009 randomly selected individuals aged 18-84 years. The response rate among persons of working age (18-64 years) was 58%. The questionnaire included a validated question concerning hand eczema and a generic instrument for measurement of HRQoL, the EQ-5D.
The proportion of individuals reporting problems was significantly larger among those with than without hand eczema in all five dimensions of the EQ-5D. Gender differences were found in some age subgroups. The EQ-5D index was lower for individuals with hand eczema than for those without, and on the same level as for psoriasis and asthma. Beta regression showed that the strongest confounding factors were low back pain, depression and hay fever/asthma.
HRQoL was negatively affected in individuals with hand eczema irrespective of age. With the EQ-5D instrument it is also possible to detect certain gender differences. The EQ-5D index for hand eczema was of the same size as for psoriasis and asthma, all common diseases with an impact on public health. It is of importance to acknowledge the influence of hand eczema on daily life, in order to give the patients good care.
In the present study we investigated the prevalence of self-reported hand eczema as well as subjective associations between skin symptoms and composite/bonding or other dental materials among Swedish dentists. A questionnaire on skin symptoms, atopy, occupational experience, and other background factors was sent to a random sample (n=3,500) of all dentists licensed since 1965. This group corresponds to about half of the country's occupationally active dentists. The response rate was 88%. The questionnaire had previously been validated against clinical dermatological examination of subjects reporting hand eczema. The prevalence of dry and rough skin on the hands was high (45%). Hand eczema during the previous 12 months was reported by 13.5%. Dry skin and hand eczema were more common among dentists than in two age-matched general population samples investigated using identical questions. The difference versus the general population was most pronounced (about two-fold) among male dentists. A history of childhood eczema was the most important predictor for adult hand eczema, with a prevalence ratio of 2.4 compared to dentists without childhood eczema. Seven % reported skin symptoms when working with acrylic resins, and 15% had experienced rapid itching related to protective gloves.
Hand eczema in relation to occupation was studied in an industrial city. Questionnaires were sent to 20,000 individuals aged 20-65 years, randomly selected from the population register of the city. Those subjects (1385) considering themselves to have had hand eczema within the previous 12 months were invited to a dermatological examination including patch testing. It was found that the reported 1-year period prevalence of hand eczema in the total sample was 11.8%. The only occupational group reporting a statistically significant higher 1-year period prevalence was service work, 15.4%. Among all occupations, cleaners turned out to have the highest period prevalence, 21.3%. Hand eczema was more common among people reporting some kind of occupational exposure. The most harmful exposure turned out to be to unspecified chemicals, water and detergents and dust and dry dirt. The use of protective gloves is reported and analysed. The most common contact allergy was nickel, followed by cobalt, fragrance-mix, balsam of Peru and colophony. A statistically significant increase in contact allergy to colophony for women in administrative work was found. It is concluded that the type of hand eczema that is mostly dependent on occupation is irritant contact dermatitis.
Factors related to hand eczema were studied. Their relative importance as predictors was ranked by multiple logistic regression analysis. Questionnaires were sent to 20,000 individuals aged 20-65 years, randomly selected from the population register. Those subjects (1385) considering themselves to have had hand eczema within the previous 12 months were invited to a dermatological examination. It was found that a history of childhood eczema was the most important predictive factor for hand eczema. Second was female sex, followed by occupational exposure, a history of asthma and/or hay fever, and a service occupation. A small decrease in risk with advancing age was also found. The difference in the probability of having had eczema in a 1-year period, between individuals having the most important risk factors studied and those having none of them, proved to be for females 48% compared to 8%, and for males 34% compared to 4%. A history of childhood eczema was found to be more common among young persons, indicating an increase in the prevalence of atopic dermatitis. Of those individuals who reported childhood eczema, 27% reported hand eczema on some occasion during the last 12 months.
The skin of bakers is heavily exposed to dough, spices, water and detergents. This is follow-up of a previous Swedish questionnaire study showing bakers to have a 3-fold increased risk of hand eczema. The aims were to establish diagnoses and to study consequences of hand eczema. From a cohort study of 2226 bakers, a random sample among bakers reporting hand eczema was examined. Of 60 randomly selected bakers reporting a history of hand eczema, 52 attended an examination comprising a standardized interview, documentation of clinical skin signs, patch testing and prick testing with standard and bakery series, and serum analyses. In all, 45 bakers confirmed a history of hand eczema, for which 11 (24%) had been on sick leave, with a median duration of 14 weeks. 13 (29%) had changed their occupation due to skin disease, 19 had positive patch test reactions to standard contact allergens - and 5 to bakery contact allergens. 16 bakers had positive prick tests to standard allergens, 10 to bakery allergens, of whom 9 reacted to flours. Since considerable medical and social consequences of hand eczema are seen, thorough diagnosis of contact allergy and IgE-mediated allergy in bakers, as well as preventive measures, are essential.
The aim of this project was to study the long-term prognosis of occupational skin diseases in Sweden. In 1999, a questionnaire was sent to 623/655 individuals who in 1987 reported occupational skin disease to the Social Insurance Office. 394 answered the questionnaire, and 123 non-responders were interviewed by telephone, giving 517 participants (83%), 323 females and 194 males. 85% reported skin symptoms after 1987, 70% during the previous year. 28% considered themselves recovered, of those with nickel allergy only 12%. In a logistic regression model, skin atopy was the strongest unfavourable factor for the prognosis followed by contact allergy and female sex. 66% had consulted a doctor after 1987 and the majority, 82%, had performed occupational changes - most common was change of jobs, 44%. Those who had changed jobs reported less sick leave. The conclusion is that occupational skin diseases have a clear tendency to end up as chronic conditions with a majority reporting symptoms at a 12-year follow-up. The skin disease had influenced the occupational situation for the majority (82%) and for 15% resulted in exclusion from the labour market through unemployment or disability pension.
BACKGROUND: During the 1980s routine wearing of gloves in dentistry was recommended by health authorities in several countries. However, prolonged glove use is associated with side-effects of irritant and allergic origin. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the extent of glove use and self-reported glove intolerance reactions among Swedish dentists, and to examine how far IgE-mediated allergy to natural rubber latex (NRL) occurs in subjects who report rapid itching when in contact with protective gloves. SUBJECTS/METHODS: A postal questionnaire was answered by 3083 of 3500 licensed dentists, a response rate of 88%. Of the dentists who reported rapidly occurring itching of the hands from gloves, 131 of 170 attended a clinical examination including a skin prick test (SPT) and a serological examination (RAST) for IgE-mediated allergy. RESULTS: Seventy-three per cent of the dentists reported daily glove use of more than 2 h, 48% more than 6 h a day, and 6% reported no use. NRL gloves were used most frequently (P