eLetters

74 e-Letters

published between 2000 and 2003

  • Re: Sickness absence in doctors
    Mika Kivimaki
    Dear Editor,

    In his electronic letter, Dr Murphy wrote that the 55% response rate from the doctors could have considerably biased the results reported in a study of sickness absence in Finnish hospital physicians.[1] According to the results, absence rate for doctors is low. The study also suggests that poor teamwork and traditional psychosocial risk factors, such as work overload and low job control, contribute to doctors'...

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  • Sickness absence in doctors
    Ian J Murphy

    Dear Editor,

    Kivimaki and colleagues [1] undertook research to identify some determinants of sickness absence in Finnish hospital physicians between 1997 and 1998. This was a questionnaire survey sent to 816 physicians and a control group of 542 senior nurses employed in one of 11 hospitals in Finland. Social circumstances, work characteristics and various measures of health were assessed by questionnaire and e...

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  • Response to a case of occupational asthma due to the enzymes phytase and ß-glucanase
    Andreas Zober

    Dear Editor,

    In their recent short report,[1] O'Connor et al. describe a case of occupational asthma due to the enzymes phytase and ß-glucanase. Their patient experienced asthma-like symptoms at work (wheezing and cough), had positive skin prick tests and specific IgE to both enzymes (by radioallergosorbent test), and reacted to both materials in separate inhalation challenge tests. None of 22 other employees in...

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  • Nasal, eye and skin irritation in dockyard painters
    Gerard Woodroof

    Dear Editor,

    Chen et al report irritant symptoms experienced by dockyard painters in both Scotland and China [1]. In 1985, I reported [2] on dockyard painters involved in submarine refit work in one of HM's dockyards in England. I too found a high prevalence of symptoms of irritation. However, and possibly of more concern, the painters in my study also reported narcotic symptoms. In 106 painters, 74 (70%) rep...

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  • Re: Methodological problems in a case referent study based on a register of occupational asthma
    Sarah Meredith

    Editor-

    We are grateful to Dr Jarvolm for his comments on our paper. The specified aim of our study was to quantify the relationship between the level of occupational isocyanate exposure and risk of developing asthma. The usual approach to this problem is a cohort study in an exposed work force, possibly with a nested case referent analysis. A register based case referent study of the type described by Dr Jarvol...

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  • Methodological problems in a case referent study based on a register of occupational asthma
    Bengt Jarvholm

    Editor-

    Meredith et al,[1] performed a case referent study to investigate asthma caused by isocyanates. They claimed that the results indicated that isocyanate asthma occurs at low 8h average exposure (around 1.5 ppb); for exposures above 1.125 ppb there was about a three fold increased risk, however this was of limited statistical significance (OR=3.2, 95% CI 0.96- 10.6; p=0.06). They also concluded that their s...

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  • Level of benzene in blood
    Francesco Brugnone

    Editor

    with regard to the limit of detection and to the data in table 5 and figure 5, the level of benzene in blood has given in µg/l. I believe that the correct indication should be in ng/l. As matter of fact, with a personal exposure to benzene of 9.3-3.8 µg/m3, it is impossible to have a blood benzene level of 213-195 µg/l which should be corresponding to an environmental exposure to benzene of more than...

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  • Health and exposures of United Kingdom Gulf war veterans
    Malcolm Hooper

    Editor,-

    I welcome the publication of recent papers by Cherry and her collaborators.[1] [2] Although they form part of a large number of epidemiological studies, referenced by the authors, based solely on questionnaire data they do add significantly to the understanding of the ill-health of Gulf War Veterans (GWVs). The limitations of such studies are recognised by the authors, for example, the lack of any bas...

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  • Re: Glutaraldehyde induced asthma in endoscopy nursing staff
    A Vyas

    Editor

    Dr Burge and his coworkers raise a very important issue in terms of the physiological criteria on which a diagnosis of occupational asthma should be based, and in particular, the clinical significance of small work related declines in peak expiratory flow. We fully accept that a lack of an increase in diurnal variation does not exclude a diagnosis of occupational asthma. The pattern of peak flow measurements...

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  • Re: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and occupational exposure to 2,4-D
    Carol J Burns

    We appreciate the interest taken in our study by Dr. Freedman.[1] At the heart of the discussion are the interpretation of statistical significance in our study,[2] and the lack of statistical significance in others. A critical point in valuing causation is the weight of the evidence to be placed upon the nonsignificant increase of nonspecific exposures observed in human studies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) compare...

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