Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Vasoconstrictor response to cold in forestry workers: a prospective study.
  1. N Olsen,
  2. S L Nielsen
  1. Department of Clinical Physiology, Hvidovre Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark.


    In a five year prospective study of the vasoconstrictor response to cold 37 forestry workers were investigated in 1978 and again in 1983. The subjects were classified into three groups: group A (n = 13): no subjective finger symptoms in 1978 and continued sawing until 1983; group B (n = 12): no symptoms in 1978 and stopped sawing before 1983; group C (n = 12): vibration induced white finger (VWF) in 1978. A cold provocation test measuring the finger systolic blood pressure with a cuff and strain gauge technique during combined body cooling and finger cooling to 30 degrees, 15 degrees, and 6 degrees C was applied to all subjects at both investigations. In 1978 all groups had an increased cold response when compared with that of 20 non-exposed controls (p less than 0.05), and the response was more exaggerated in group C than in groups A and B (p less than 0.01). From 1978 to 1983 the vasoconstrictor response increased in group A (p less than 0.05), was in group B (p greater than 0.10), and improved in group C (p less than 0.05). The changes in cold response in groups A and C were significantly larger than the within day variation of the method (p less than 0.01). The aggravation of group A indicates that a further five years use of anti-vibration chain saws induced an increased hyperreactivity in the vasoconstrictor mechanisms but led to subjective symptoms of VWF in only one subject. The improvement in group C was in accordance with the improvements of subjective finger symptoms and was associated with a previous shift from saws without vibration damping devices to anti-vibration saws and with cessation of work. The results of group C indicate that VWF may improve or subjectively disappear if exposure to vibration is reduced or stopped. The cold provocation test was more sensitive than the Taylor-Pelmear stage assessments (p<0.05). The test may be of guidance in evaluation preventive measures.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.