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P144 Does a potential healthy worker survivor effect bias the association between occupational skin exposure and skin problems? a three-year follow-up study of the general working population of norway
  1. Jose Hernan Alfonso1,
  2. Tore Tynes2,
  3. Håkon A Johannessen2
  1. 1Department of Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology. National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2Department of National Work Environment Surveillance. National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway

Abstract

Background In a 3-year follow-up study of the general working population of Norway, we have previously reported evidence of an association between self-reported occupational skin exposure and skin problems. However, such association was weaker for responders reporting exposure only at baseline (2006), compared to those reporting exposure at follow-up (2009). Therefore, we aimed to assess whether the occurrence of skin problems at baseline influenced response frequency at follow-up leading to a potential healthy worker survivor effect.

Methods The cohort comprised respondents drawn randomly from the general population of Norway, who were registered employed in 2006 and 2009 (n = 6,745), and participated in the nationwide Survey of Living Conditions-Work environment (Statistics Norway). Associations between baseline indicators (sex, age, education, occupation, and occurrence of skin problems) with response frequency at follow-up were assessed by Chi-square tests and unconditional logistic regression. The level for significance was set to p < .05 (95% CI)

Results The response frequency for women was higher at follow-up. For both age and education, response frequency at follow-up increased incrementally with older ages and higher levels of education. For occupation, the lowest response frequency was among elementary occupations (61.5%), plant-machine operators and assemblers (65.3%), and craft-related trade workers (71.0%). We found no evidence of an association between the occurrence of skin problems at baseline and response frequency at follow-up.

Conclusion Overall, age, sex, education, and occupation seems to be the most important predictors of response frequency at follow-up. The occurrence of skin problems among participants at baseline seems to have little impact on the response frequency at follow-up, which provide little support to a healthy worker survivor effect. Future studies should assess for a potential healthy worker hire effect (healthy worker effect before recruitment).

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