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Saber Mohammadi, Majid Golabadi, Yasser Labbafinejad, Fatemeh Pishgahhadian and Mirsaeed Attarchi

Effects of Exposure to Mixed Organic Solvents on Blood Pressure in Non-Smoking Women Working in a Pharmaceutical Company

Some studies suggest that exposure to industrial solvents can affect blood pressure. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a mixture of organic solvents on blood pressure in women working in a pharmaceutical company in Iran. Four hundred and thirty-three women were included in the study. Women working in packing units (group 1) were not exposed to the mixture of organic solvents, women in new laboratory units (group 2) were exposed to the mixture within the permitted range and women working in old laboratory units (group 3) were exposed to the mixture above the permitted limit. We compared systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP & DBP) and prevalence of hypertension and pre-hypertension among groups. The results revealed a significant difference in SBP and pre-hypertension (p<0.001) and hypertension (p<0.05) prevalence between the exposed and the control group, but DBP did not differ significantly. Logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between hypertension and exposure to mixed solvents. Odds ratio for hypertension in the group 2 and group 3 (exposed) workers was 2.36 and 3, respectively, compared to controls. Our results suggest that exposure to a mixture of organic solvents may increase SBP and hypertension and pre-hypertension prevalence in drug manufacture workers. Therefore, more attention should be paid to workers that work in such settings by periodically measuring blood pressure and implementing accurate and comprehensive programs to reduce exposure to organic solvents.

Open access

Majid Golabadi, Mirsaeed Attarchi, Saeed Raeisi and Mohamad Namvar


Nursing is a stressful and highly demanding job. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between psychosocial job strain and the prevalence of back symptoms in nursing personnel using the demand-control model. In a cross-sectional study, 545 nursing professionals answered to a self-administered questionnaire on demography, job content, and lower and upper back symptoms (LBS and UBS, respectively). Based on their answers, the participants were grouped as follows: low strain, high strain, active job, and passive job. The groups were compared in regard to the prevalence of LBS and UBS (totalling 58.5 % and 47.9 %, respectively) over the past 12 months. We found no association between job control and back symptoms, but participants with high psychosocial job demands showed greater risk of LBS (OR=1.57 and p=0.014) and UBS (OR=1.73 and p=0.005) than those with low job demands. LBS in the low strain, high strain, and active job groups was more prevalent than in the passive group (OR=1.64, OR=2.49 and OR=1.90, respectively; p≤0.05). In addition, the high strain group showed greater prevalence of UBS than the passive group (OR=1.82 and p=0.019). Our study suggests that psychosocial job strain, high psychosocial demands in particular, may be associated with greater prevalence of back symptoms in nursing personnel. Our findings may help to design preventive measures that would lower the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in this profession.