Working as hairdressers has been associated with increased risk for cancer, particularly bladder cancer. To evaluate if current hairdressers have elevated risks of adverse health effects, we measured several biomarkers related to cancer-related DNA alterations. We enrolled 295 hairdressers and 92 non-hairdressers (all female non-smokers) from Stockholm and southern Sweden. Questionnaire data were collected for each participant, including work tasks for the hairdressers. We measured telomere length in peripheral blood leucocytes using quantitative PCR and DNA methylation status of genes relevant for bladder cancer using methylation sensitive high resolution melting analysis. The hairdressers had shorter telomeres (ß =?-0.069, P = 0.019) compared with non-hairdressers. Shorter telomeres were found in hairdressers up to 32 years old performing hair waving more than once per week as compared with hairdressers in the same age group performing hair waving less often (ß =?-0.12, P = 0.037). Hair waving was associated with less frequent CDKN2A methylation (odds ratio, OR = 0.19, P = 0.033). Shorter telomeres in hairdressers may indicate a genotoxic effect. Performing hair waving was associated with short telomere length, although the effect was only observed in young hairdressers. No clear patterns were discerned with regard to DNA methylation of bladder cancer-related genes. The observed changes of methylation were not all in the expected direction and warrant further investigation.
Access to a quiet side in one's dwelling is thought to compensate for higher noise levels at the most exposed façade. It has also been indicated that noise from combined traffic sources causes more noise annoyance than equal average levels from either road traffic or railway noise separately.
2612 persons in Malmö, Sweden, answered to a residential environment survey including questions on outdoor environment, noise sensitivity, noise annoyance, sleep quality and concentration problems. Road traffic and railway noise was modeled using Geographic Information System.
Access to a quiet side, i.e., at least one window facing yard, water or green space, was associated with reduced risk of annoyance OR (95%CI) 0.47 (0.38-0.59), and concentration problems 0.76 (0.61-0.95). Bedroom window facing the same environment was associated to reduced risk of reporting of poor sleep quality 0.78 (0.64-1.00). Railway noise was associated with reduced risk of annoyance below 55 dB(A) but not at higher levels of exposure.
Having a window facing a yard, water or green space was associated to a substantially reduced risk of noise annoyance and concentration problems. If this window was the bedroom window, sleeping problems were less likely.
Most studies assessing health effects of neighborhood characteristics either use self-reports or objective assessments of the environment, the latter often based on Geographical Information Systems (GIS). While objective measures require detailed landscape data, self-assessments may yield confounded results. In this study we demonstrate how self-assessments of green neighborhood environments aggregated to narrow area units may serve as an appealing compromise between objective measures and individual self-assessments.
The study uses cross-sectional data (N = 24,847) from a public health survey conducted in the county of Scania, southern Sweden, in 2008 and validates the Scania Green Score (SGS), a new index comprising five self-reported green neighborhood qualities (Culture, Lush, Serene, Spacious and Wild). The same qualities were also assessed objectively using landscape data and GIS. A multilevel (ecometric) model was used to aggregate individual self-reports to assessments of perceived green environmental attributes for areas of 1,000 square meters. We assessed convergent and concurrent validity for self-assessments of the five items separately and for the sum score, individually and area-aggregated.
Correlations between the index scores based on self-assessments and the corresponding objective assessments were clearly present, indicating convergent validity, but the agreement was low. The correlation was even more evident for the area-aggregated SGS. All three scores (individual SGS, area-aggregated SGS and GIS index score) were associated with neighborhood satisfaction, indicating concurrent validity. However, while individual SGS was associated with vitality, this association was not present for aggregated SGS and the GIS-index score, suggesting confounding (single-source bias) when individual SGS was used.
Perceived and objectively assessed qualities of the green neighborhood environment correlate but do not agree. An index score based on self-reports but aggregated to narrow area units can be a valid approach to assess perceived green neighborhood qualities in settings where objective assessments are not possible or feasible.
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Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, and Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Skåne University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Jun;8(6):2009-19
To assess whether cancer incidence, mainly from lymphohaematopoietic tumours and breast cancer, and mortality were increased in a cohort of Swedish sterilant workers exposed to low levels of ethylene oxide (EtO), updated with 16 more years of follow up.
The mortality and cancer incidence 1972-2006 experienced by a cohort of 2,171 male and female workers employed for at least one year in two plants producing medical equipment sterilised with EtO were investigated. Individual cumulative exposure to EtO was assessed by occupational hygienists. Cause-specific standardized rate ratios were calculated using the regional general population as a comparison for mortality (SMR) and cancer incidence (SIR). Internal Poisson-regression analyses were performed for selected causes.
The median cumulative exposure to EtO was 0.13 ppm-years. The overall cancer incidence was close to unity (SIR 0.94, 95% CI 0.82-1.08). Eighteen cases of lymphohaematopoietic cancer were observed (SIR 1.25, 95% CI 0.74-1.98). A healthy worker effect was indicated from a significantly decreased overall mortality and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. Internal analyses found significantly increased rate ratios for breast cancer for the two upper quartiles of cumulative exposure as compared to the lowest 50% of the cohort (IRR 2.76, 95% CI 1.20-6.33 and IRR 3.55, 95% CI 1.58-7.93).
The findings from this updated study indicate limited or low risks for human cancer due to occupational exposure from ethylene oxide at the low cumulative exposure levels in this cohort. However a positive exposure-response relation with breast cancer was observed though.
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Occupational exposure to particulate air pollution has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the risk to welders working today remains unclear. We aimed to elucidate the cardiovascular effects of exposure to welding fumes.
In a cross-sectional study, structured interviews and biological sampling were conducted for 101 welders and 127 controls (all non-smoking males) from southern Sweden. Personal breathing zone sampling of respirable dust was performed. Blood pressure (BP) and endothelial function (using peripheral arterial tonometry) were measured. Plasma and serum samples were collected from peripheral blood for measurement of C-reactive protein, low-density lipoprotein, homocysteine, serum amyloid A, and cytokines.
Welders were exposed to 10-fold higher levels of particles than controls. Welders had significantly higher BP compared to controls, an average of 5 mm Hg higher systolic and diastolic BP (P = 0.001). IL-8 was 3.4 ng/L higher in welders (P=0.010). Years working as a welder were significantly associated with increased BP (ß=0.35, 95%CI 0.13 - 0.58, P=0.0024 for systolic BP; ß=0.32, 95%CI 0.16 - 0.48, P
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OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the association between occupational and hobby exposure and the risk of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) while focusing on differential patterns of clonal chromosome aberrations and morphologic subgroups. METHODS: A case-referent study was conducted with 330 MDS patients investigated cytogenetically in 1976-1993 (cases) and matched referents. Telephone interviews with either the person or a next-of-kin were used. The participation rate of the cases and referents was 85% and 60%, respectively. Information was obtained from the next-of-kin more often for the cases (88%) than for the referents (26%). Occupational hygienists assessed the exposure using interview data on worktasks and hobbies. Associations with disease risk were evaluated for 10 exposures with a logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The investigated exposures were generally not associated with cytogenetically abnormal MDS. Effect estimates for specific cytogenetic or morphologic subgroups were generally imprecise. Occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields (EMF) was associated with MDS with a normal karyotype [odds ratio (OR) 2.0, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.0-4.0]. The exposure-response association was consistent for intensity but inconclusive for duration. A decreased risk was observed for MDS, irrespective of karyotypic pattern, among farmers and farmhands (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.35-0.81). CONCLUSIONS: Cytogenetically abnormal MDS was generally not associated with occupational or hobby exposure to known or suspected genotoxic agents. However, exposure prevalences and intensities were low for several agents. An association was suggested between occupational exposure to EMF and MDS with a normal karyotype. Biases due to differential information quality and selective participation cannot be ruled out.
Some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are known carcinogens and workplace PAH exposure may increase the risk of cancer. Monitoring early cancer-related changes can indicate whether the exposure is carcinogenic. Here, we enrolled 151 chimney sweeps, 152 controls and 19 creosote-exposed male workers from Sweden. We measured urinary PAH metabolites using LC/MS/MS, the cancer-related markers telomere length (TL) and mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn) using qPCR, and DNA methylation of lung cancer-related genes F2RL3 and AHRR using pyrosequencing. The median 1-hydroxypyrene (PAH metabolite) concentrations were highest in creosote-exposed workers (8.0 µg/g creatinine) followed by chimney sweeps (0.34 µg/g creatinine) and controls (0.05 µg/g creatinine). TL and mtDNAcn did not differ between study groups. Chimney sweeps and creosote-exposed workers had significantly lower methylation of AHRR CpG site cg05575921 (88.1 and 84.9%, respectively) than controls (90%). Creosote-exposed workers (73.3%), but not chimney sweeps (76.6%) had lower methylation of F2RL3 cg03636183 than controls (76.7%). Linear regression analyses showed that chimney sweeps had lower AHRR cg05575921 methylation (B = -2.04; P
Occupational exposure to soot, rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), has been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, our knowledge about PAH exposure and early markers of CVD remains limited. In this cross-sectional study of 151 chimney sweeps and 152 controls, we investigated occupational exposure to PAH and early markers of CVD. Blood pressure (BP) (chimney sweeps only), urinary PAH metabolites and serum biomarkers were measured (C-reactive protein, homocysteine, gamma-glutamyltransferase, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides). Chimney sweeps had up to 7 times higher concentrations of PAH metabolites in urine than controls (P?
Green neighbourhood environments have been associated with physical and psychological wellbeing in adults. Access to greenness is potentially more important in vulnerable subgroups. In this study based on longitudinal survey data from southern Sweden the cohort was divided into prognostic groups for good self-reported general (n=8891) and mental (n=9444) health. We used independent survey data to assess perceived neighbourhood greenness in 1km(2) areas, and estimated effects of changing exposure longitudinally stratified by prognostic group. The overall effect on health was small and statistically uncertain (for general health OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.98-1.10, for mental health OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.00-1.14). A more beneficial effect of increased greenness was indicated among subjects with lowest prognostic of good general health (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.01-1.52). The study provided only weak evidence for beneficial effects of increased neighbourhood greenness triggered by changing residence. It seems that altered life circumstances, e.g. changed civil or socioeconomic status that often trigger a decision to move, are also the key determinants of the health consequences of changing residence.
The aim was to investigate the variation in risk of breast cancer between occupational groups with a focus on white-collar and blue-collar workers and to investigate to what extent the differences were explained by risk factors related to reproduction and lifestyle.
Between 1991 and 1996, 14 119 women born between 1923 and 1950 and residents of Malmö, Sweden, were included in this cohort study. Individual data on risk factors (eg, age, parity, age at first child, months of breast feeding per child, hormonal replacement therapy, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, height and body mass index) and occupational history were assessed using a questionnaire. First-time diagnoses of invasive breast cancer were identified through the Swedish Cancer Registry up until 31 December 2013.
A total of 897 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Analyses adjusted for age showed an increased risk for white-collar workers compared with blue-collar workers and indicated higher risks in the occupational categories: professionals, administrative and bookkeeping than among women in sales, transportation, production and service work. This difference was only marginally attenuated after adjustment for an extensive set of risk factors related to reproduction and lifestyle.
Reproductive and lifestyle factors explain only a minor part of the increased risk of breast cancer in white-collar workers. Further studies are needed to investigate the remaining factors for the difference in risk between occupational groups.
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