BACKGROUND: Previous studies of the risk of heart disease after shift work reached different estimates and review authors disagree about the validity of some of the studies. A cross sectional study showed that shift workers had a higher prevalence of nearly every unfavourable work environment factor investigated. Conflicts at work and low decision latitude were more frequent among shift workers, and all-day walking or standing work and part-time jobs were more often found among female shift workers. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the risk of circulatory disease in a prospective follow up of a representative sample of gainfully employed Danes, considering known or suspected confounding factors. METHODS: A cohort of 5517 people who were gainfully employed in 1990 were followed up for all hospital treatments due to circulatory diseases (390-458, ICD-8; I00-I99, ICD-10) from 1991 to 2002 inclusive. A log linear Poisson regression model was applied to control confounding factors and calculate the relative risk for 927 men and women working nights, evenings, or other non-day shifts compared to 4579 day workers. RESULTS: Non-day workers compared to day workers had a relative risk (RR) for all circulatory diseases of 1.31 (95% CI 1.06-1.63). Without control for BMI and smoking, the RR estimate was 1.33 (95% CI 1.07-1.65). For a subgroup of workers with at least three years' seniority, the RR was 1.40 (95% CI 1.09-1.81). The population based aetiological fraction of shift work was estimated to 5%. CONCLUSION: This study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that shift work carries an excess risk of circulatory diseases.
BACKGROUND: One in seven married couples is involuntarily infertile. Several chemical exposures in the work environment have been hypothesized to affect female reproduction, and some are present in products used in hairdressing and related trades. Recent Swedish findings indicate that employment in hairdressing poses a risk for female reproductive function. This study examined the possible association between work as a hairdresser and subsequent hospital contact due to female infertility. METHODS: A cohort of all women in Denmark aged 20-44 years on 1 January 1998 (baseline) and registered as economically active hairdressers, according to national registers, was formed to calculate age-standardized risk ratios (RRs) for hospital contacts due to female infertility during a 5-year follow-up period. Hairdressers were compared to a standard population, that is, all economically active women in Denmark aged 20-44 years at baseline, and to women working as shop assistants. RESULTS: Sixty-eight cases of hospital contact due to female infertility were observed among the female hairdressers. On the basis of the standard population, the expected number was 73.27, which gives an observed RR of 0.928 (95% CI: 0.72-1.18). Hairdressers and shop assistants exhibited similar rates of hospital contact due to female infertility (1.01; 95% CI: 0.77-1.29). CONCLUSION: The findings are not corroborating the hypothesis that hairdressers are at increased risk of infertility, but small risks in the entire group or high risks in small subgroups may not be detected by the study.
OBJECTIVES: (1) To estimate the relative risk of stroke among various groups of professional drivers; (2) to determine if any excess risk should be attributed to infarction or haemorrhage; (3) to estimate the relative risk ratio for stroke among professional drivers living in Greater Copenhagen compared to those living outside the metropolis. METHODS: A cohort of 6285 bus drivers, 4204 car, taxi, and van drivers, and 25,879 heavy truck and lorry drivers were followed up for hospital admission due to stroke and sub-diagnoses in the period 1994-2003. Using hospital admission for all economically active men as the standard, the standardised hospitalisation ratios (SHR) were calculated, taking age and county into consideration. RESULTS: There was a high SHR for stroke among all groups of professional drivers (SHR = 132; 95% CI 121-141). Among car, taxi, and van drivers the SHR was 157 (95% CI 132-189), among bus drivers it was 139 (95% CI 119-163), and among heavy truck and lorry drivers it was 124 (95% CI 113-136). The excess risk for all groups of professional drivers was highest for cerebrovascular infarction (SHR = 139; 95% CI 124-155) and lowest for non-traumatic intracranial haemorrhage (SHR = 113; 95% CI 96-133). The excess risks for all groups were significantly higher for cerebrovascular infarction than for non-traumatic intracranial haemorrhage (relative risk ratio (RRR) 1.23; 95% CI 1.01-1.51). The RRR of stroke among drivers in the metropolitan area compared to rural areas was 1.13 (95% CI 0.94-1.36). The RRR for stroke among car, taxi, and van drivers compared to drivers of heavy trucks and of lorries was 1.28 (95% CI 1.03-1.57). CONCLUSION: All groups of professional drivers are at increased risk of stroke. The excess risk is more due to cerebral infarctions than to non-traumatic intracranial haemorrhage. The risk of stroke is higher among drivers carrying passengers than among drivers carrying goods.