The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in 617 workers at a base metal mine in northern Ontario. Workers who were employed at the mine between the years 1989 and 1994 and who continued to live within a 100 km radius of the mine were sent a self-reported questionnaire to identify individuals with possible vibration-induced symptoms in their upper extremities. Of the 162 workers who attended the medical examination, 50% were diagnosed with HAVS, 26% had other diagnoses with some workers having multiple afflictions e.g., both HAVS and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). No vibration-induced symptoms were reported in 35% of the workers who were clinically normal. The study was designed to educate, advise, and to make recommendations on the prevention of HAVS. Ongoing commitments to technological improvements, mandatory and regular rest periods, and continuing educational sessions on the syndrome should help to reduce the prevalence of this disease.
Based on a multidimensional discriminant analysis of the clinical and physiological characteristics derived as a result of examination of 593 miners, classification functions were plotted, allowing the diagnosis of vibratory disease in the automatic mode by means of mathematic computations. Functional indicators of skin sensitivity, particularly vibratory, dynamometry, rheovasography and thermography of the hand and fingers, a "white spot" symptom, and characteristics derived on a mathematic analysis of heart rhythm were established to be informative for automated diagnosis. The diagnosis was found to be more accurate in case of using a two-stage variant of the discriminant analysis where the differentiation is first made between healthy workers and workers with a pathology, followed by the discrimination of the preclinical and clinical phase of the disease. The automated diagnostic system is demonstrated to compare very favourably with the conventional method of diagnosis.
Characteristics, frequency and distribution of vertebrogenic diseases involving cervico-brachial region were studied in more than 1,000 miners from asian North and East exposed to vibration. The data were compared with the results of examination of drivers. The investigation revealed a high level of vertebrogenic cervical pain and cervico-brachial pain in miners with a long length of service, especially in those suffering from vibration disease and frequent osteochondrosis manifestation in younger age, especially in subjects working beyond the Polar Circle. Occupational hazards are proved to play a leading role in the early development of vertebrogenic diseases, and vibration disease predisposes to such pathology. The results make possible to consider the vertebrogenic cervical pain and cervico-brachial pain as occupational diseases in young-aged workers with long length of service or evaluate such diseases as complications of vibration disease in individuals facing this occupational pathology.
A total of 143 miners, 6 ex-miners, and 42 referents from five mines in northern Ontario were examined with a cold provocation test. The skin temperatures, measured by thermocouples at the tips of the fingers and thumbs were recorded at 5-s intervals throughout the immersion in cold water (10 degrees C) for 10 min and during the recovery period. The finger skin temperature was followed until 99% recovery had occurred as compared to the starting temperature. For the referents and the vibration-exposed subjects, the results by separate stage of the Taylor-Pelmear scale for hand-arm vibration syndrome were compared. There were statistically significant differences in the mean finger temperature at the 50, 75, 90, and 95% recovery times between stages 0, 0T/0N, and stages 1 through 3 combined, as well as significant differences between stages 1, 2, and 3. The mean temperature at 10 min and the mean hyperemia temperature for eight fingers combined were compared between the miners and referents. There were significant differences in the mean temperature at 10 min and in the hyperemia temperature between the referents and miners in stage 0T/0N, as well as between the referents and the miners in stages 1 through 3 combined. For the worst finger (defined as that with the lowest temperature at 10 min) there was an increasing trend towards a lower hyperemia temperature and delay in recovery time from stage 0 to stages 2 and 3 combined.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Complete clinical and physiologic examination of 415 tunnelers exposed to intensive vibration in cooling microclimate proved that extreme functioning of thermoregulation results in shorter development, quicker progression of vibration disease and abortive types of the disease. The data obtained were helpful to base treatments and prophylaxis including special clothes, appropriate therapy.
Cognitive and memory dysfunction in vibration disease results from biologic effects of industrial vibration in central nervous system and whole human body. Early diagnosis of cognitive and memory spheres, and opportune rehabilitation measures helps to avoid transition to dementia.