In the present epidemiologic study 80 car or industrial spray painters with long-term low level exposure to organic solvents were examined and compared with two matched reference groups of nonexposed industrial workers (80 persons in each group). The aim of the study was to investigate the possible effects of the solvent exposure on health. The investigation included psychiatric interviews, psychometric tests, neurological, neurophysiological and ophthalmologic examinations, and computed tomography of the brain. The painters' previous and present exposure was carefully assessed by interviews and on-the-job measurements both at modern places of work and in a reconstructed model of a workshop from 1955. On the basis of the psychiatric interviews the psychiatric symptoms were rated according to a specially designed scale of 46 different items, graded in seven steps of increasing severity. The psychological performance was assessed by a battery of 18 tests. The neurological and neurophysiological examinations comprised visual evoked responses (VER), electroencephalography (EEG), and computerized EEG analysis (SPA) for the central nervous system and electroneurography (ENeG), the estimation of vibration sense thresholds, and a quantified neurological examination for the peripheral nervous system. The ophthamologic examination concentrated on the condition of the lens. Statistically significant differences between the exposed individuals and referents were found for psychiatric items indicative of a slight cerebral lesion (ie, a neurasthenic syndrome). The psychometric tests revealed statistically significant differences between the groups with respect to reaction time, manual dexterity, perceptual speed, and short-term memory. No differences were found with respect to performance on verbal, spatial, and reasoning tests. Significant differences between the groups were also found for the majority of the neurophysiological parameters measuring peripheral nerve functions, the most pronounced occurring in the long, sensory fibers. Moreover EEG and VER showed some differences between the groups, as did the results of the ophthalmologic examination and the computed tomography. Finally, it should be emphasized that the exposure levels, as measured at modern places of work and in the reconstructed workshop from 1955, were found to be considerably lower than the valid threshold limit values in Sweden.
A 59-year-old woman with idiopathic hypoparathyroidism who had tetany and zonular cataract is described. Twelve years ago she had had a period with cramps and convulsions, followed by an absence of symptoms for several years. Judging from the distance between the opacity of cataract and the surface of the lens, the onset of the cataract was estimated to have occurred 11 years ago and the apparent cessation of cataract development 10 years ago. It is suggested that the absence of hypocalcaemic symptoms during the last 10 years was associated with an increase in serum calcium levels, possibly connected with the onset of menopause. The occurrence of hypocalcaemia was analyzed in a health-screened population of 15 903 persons. Nine of the subjects were found to have a serum calcium level of less than 2.10 mmol/l, giving a prevalence of 0.6%0. None had primary hypoparathyroidism, which illustrates the rarity of this condition.
The aim of the presented study was to establish if occupational exposure to infrared (IR) radiation increases the risk of developing cataract, and to correlate the lens findings to the degree of exposure. The eyes of 208 IR-exposed workers and 208 controls, all from 6 Swedish iron and steel manufacturing plants, were examined. An increased prevalence of wedge-shaped opacities was found in IR-exposed persons 60 years of age and older. This type of lens opacity is normally considered to be a purely senile change. Acceleration of senile changes by IR radiation is suggested. Stratification of the material with regard to exposure was made on different grounds, but failed to show a dose-effect-correlation.
An epidemiologic investigation on the prevalence of cataract in glass workers is presented. The study includes 209 workers over 50 years of age exposed to infrared (IR) radiation in the Swedish manual glass industry for 20 years or more, and 298 non-IR-exposed controls. The examination includes an evaluation of the individual IR-exposure and an ophthalmological examination with special reference to the lens. In IR-exposed workers 70 years of age and older there is a statistically significant increase of aphakia and of all types of cataract, subcapsular, cuneiform and nuclear, compared to the controls of the same age group. In the same age group the risk for an IR-exposed worker to have his vision reduced by cataract to 0.7 or less is 2.5 times as high as for non-exposed controls (95% confidence interval 1.4-4.4). The risk that he will have to be operated for cataract is 12 times as high (95% confidence interval 2.6-53). It is concluded, that the occupational IR-exposure of the glass workers accelerates the development of senile changes in the lens. All workers with a high exposure to IR radiation should be equipped with adequate eye protection.
PURPOSE: To establish whether small incision cataract surgery with phacoemulsification decreases the risk of acute suprachoroidal hemorrhage (ASCH) compared with traditional nucleus expression by extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE). SETTING: St. Erik Eye Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. METHODS: A retrospective study was done on the incidence of ASCH in cataract surgery between July 1990 and July 1996. During this period, 37,565 cataract extractions (phacoemulsification and ECCE) were performed at St. Erik Eye Hospital, combined procedures excluded. The criteria for diagnosis were the suspicion of ASCH during surgery and a verified diagnosis via an expulsive hemorrhage into the wound (4 cases), postoperative ultrasonic examination (20 cases), or a choroidal mass on performing ophthalmoscopy together with a postoperative history alluding to the diagnosis (2 cases). RESULTS: Twenty-six eyes were identified with ASCH, including 7 during phacoemulsification and 19 during ECCE. The incidence of ASCH was 0.03% in the 23,213 phacoemulsification cases and 0.13% in the 14,352 ECCE cases. The difference was statistically significant (P = .0003; chi-square test). CONCLUSION: Small incision surgery with phacoemulsification decreased the risk of ASCH in cataract surgery compared with the traditional nucleus expression technique.