232 e-Letters

  • What is the extent of ability in workabilty?
    Nicholas Glozier

    The systematic review of factors associated with the Work Ability Index raises significant questions about this measure. The paper repeats the assertion that "the bases for work ability are health and functional capacity, but work ability is also determined by professional knowledge and competence (skills), values, attitudes, and motivation, and work itself." Certainly clinicians are constantly asked to assess the health...

    Show More
  • Asthma and swimming pools: statistical issues
    Alfred M. Bernard

    Dear Editor

    Although we appreciate the interest of Dr Armtrong and Dr Strachan for our paper on the pool chlorine/asthma risk,[1] we cannot really take on board their reasoning concerning the statistical analyses. When questioning the strength of the associations found in our studies, they seem indeed to attribute much importance to the p values of the associations emerging between cumulated pool attendance and ind...

    Show More
  • Response to e-letter
    Tilja I. van den Berg

    We welcome the comments on our systematic review on factors associated with the Work Ability Index (WAI) with regard to the practical implications of the WAI instrument. After reading the review, the author of the e-letter concludes that ‘the WAI should be used with caution outside samples of people with musculoskeletal disorders and that more robust psychometric data be produced in other groups’. The intended message o...

    Show More
  • Authors' Reply
    Lützen Portengen

    Dear Editor

    We would like to thank Dr Preece for his letter.[1]

    He raises the issue that loss of symptomatic workers during follow-up does not explain the absence of a decline in lung function in workers who worked with laboratory animals for more than 4 years, and concludes that lung function decline in short-term employed workers is not sustained. We think that this interpretation of our data is somewhat ove...

    Show More
  • Mesothelioma Risk From Chrysotile
    John Hodgson

    We welcome the appearance of this new analysis of asbestos related mortality which constitutes an important addition to the available evidence. We note that the lung cancer risk from this data highlighted by the authors and based on their internal analyses gives an identical risk factor to the one suggested as the 'best estimate' in our earlier meta- analysis (1): a relative risk of 1.102 per 100 f/ml.yr translates almost...

    Show More
  • Occupational exposure of midwives to nitrous oxide on delivery suites
    Sergio Ghittori

    Dear Editor

    In our opinion, the article by Henderson et al.[1] Occupational exposure of midwives to nitrous oxide on delivery suites is in need of some remarks.

    In the paper a serious problem seems to be the presence of nitrous oxide in samples collected at the beginning of the shift. Many years ago, during the first studies about the evaluation of N2O in urine , we have frequently observ...

    Show More
  • The evidence for workplace counselling is in Medline
    Jos HAM Verbeek

    Dear Editor

    Henderson et al. point out the increasing approval of counselling as an effective intervention to treat or prevent the effects of stress at work by British judges, although they could use expert advice on this matter.[1] In reaction to this development, they pose the rhetorical question where to find evidence on the effectiveness of counselling. In stead of answering this question they grasp the...

    Show More
  • Nuclear Test Veterans
    Colin R. Muirhead

    Dear Editor

    In the March 2003 issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Muirhead et al.[1] described an analysis of mortality and cancer incidence among UK participants in the UK atmospheric nuclear weapons test programme.

    Comparisons were made between a pre-defined cohort of test participants and a matched control group. Both groups of men were identified during the 1980s from contemporary...

    Show More
  • Effects of phenoxy acid herbicides
    Heikki Savolainen

    Dear Editor,

    This carefully conducted study (1) points at the kidney as a potential target of toxicity of phenoxy acids in a chronic occupational exposure.

    This is biologically plausible as the phenoxy acids are inhibitors of chloride channels in renal tubular cells (2) which leads to alterations in the excretion of urinary electrolytes (3).

    Thus, it is entirely possible that the chronic dysfun...

    Show More
  • Comments on article by Andersen et al
    David Fishbain

    Dear Editor

    In a recent interesting research report published in your journal, Andersen et al. [1] performed a 4-year prospective COHORT study with yearly assessments trying to develop variables that could predict the development of new onset neck/shoulder pain. They determined that repetitive movements of the shoulder/arm, jobs with high demands and low control were variables which were all independently a...

    Show More