[abstract] POTENTIAL LONG TERM HEALTH EFFECTS OF DIVING AT WORK: HEALTH RELATED SYMPTOMS REPORTED BY PROFESSIONAL DIVERS

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[abstract] POTENTIAL LONG TERM HEALTH EFFECTS OF DIVING AT WORK: HEALTH RELATED SYMPTOMS REPORTED BY PROFESSIONAL DIVERS

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Title: [abstract] POTENTIAL LONG TERM HEALTH EFFECTS OF DIVING AT WORK: HEALTH RELATED SYMPTOMS REPORTED BY PROFESSIONAL DIVERS
Author: Macdiarmid, JI; Ross, JAS; Watt, SJ; Osman, LM; Lawson, A; Godden, D; Stephenson, R
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Diving and hyperbaric exposure is associated with a number of acute illnesses, however less is known about longer term health effects. The objective of this study is to investigate possible long term health effects of professional diving. METHODS: 2477 male divers, with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) diving certificates gained before 1991, were traced using HSE diving records. The control group were aged matched offshore workers who had worked offshore between 1990-2 but had never dived (n = 2460). A questionnaire survey assessed general health symptoms and hyperbaric occupational history. Differences in reported symptoms between the groups were compared using Chi-square tests. This survey forms the basis of a longer term project where divers will be followed up to investigate the medical conditions reported on the questionnaires. RESULTS: 1382 (56percent) divers and 1248 (51percent) controls completed the questionnaire. The mean (+/- SD) age of divers and controls was the same (46 +/- 8 years). Table 1 shows differences in the proportion of divers and controls reporting health related symptoms. Symptoms Divers (percent) Controls (percent) p, Forgetfulness / loss of concentration 19 6 , Unsteadiness when walking, dizziness, poor balance 2 2, Joint pain / muscle stiffness 30 22 , Back or neck pain 31 28, Muscle weakness 4 3, Cough / wheeze 3 6 , Breathlessness 3 5 , Impaired vision (not corrected by spectacles) 4 3, Impaired hearing 16 12 , Skin rash / itch 7 10 , Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation or nausea 6 5 , Table 1: Percentage of divers and controls suffering from symptoms. p less than 0.05, p less than 0.001. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results suggest that divers and controls suffer from different symptoms, potentially work related, with the greatest difference associated with forgetfulness or loss of concentration. Supported by the Health and Safety Executive, UK.
Description: Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. (http://www.uhms.org )
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/992
Date: 2001

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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