National Research Center for the Working Environment

Copenhagen, Denmark

National Research Center for the Working Environment

Copenhagen, Denmark
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Quist H.G.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Carneiro I.G.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Hansen J.V.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Bjorner J.B.,National Research Center for the Working Environment
Preventive Medicine | Year: 2014

Objective: Previous research has indicated that health behaviours tend to cluster in social networks, but few have studied the cluster effect in workgroups. We examined the effect of workgroups on current state and change in three indicators of health behaviours (smoking, body mass index (BMI) and physical activity). Further, we examined whether health behaviours of the respondents at group level predicted lifestyle changes. Methods: In a prospective cohort (n = 4730), employees from 250 workgroups in the Danish eldercare sector answered questionnaires at baseline (2005) and follow-up (2006). Multilevel regression models were used to examine the effect of workgroups. Results: Workgroups accounted for 6.49% of the variation in smoking status, 6.56% of amount smoked and 2.62% of the variation in current BMI. We found no significant workgroup clustering in physical activity or lifestyle changes. Furthermore, changes in smoking status (cessation) and weight gain were seen in workgroups with high percentage of smokers and high levels of BMI. Conclusion: We found modest evidence for clustering of some health behaviours within workgroups, which could be due to social learning or selection into and out of workgroups. Future health promotion programmes at worksites should recognize the potential clustering of lifestyle behaviours within workgroups. © 2014.

Calatayud J.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Calatayud J.,University of Valencia | Jakobsen M.D.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Jakobsen M.D.,University of Southern Denmark | And 5 more authors.
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

Introduction: Regular physical activity is important for longevity and health, but knowledge about the optimal dose of physical activity for maintaining good work ability is unknown. This study investigates the association between intensity and duration of physical activity during leisure time and work ability in relation to physical demands of the job. Methods: From the 2010 round of the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study, currently employed wage earners with physically demanding work (n = 2952) replied to questions about work, lifestyle and health. Excellent (100 points), very good (75 points), good (50 points), fair (25 points) and poor (0 points) work ability in relation to the physical demands of the job was experienced by 18%, 40%, 30%, 10% and 2% of the respondents, respectively. Results: General linear models that controlled for gender, age, physical and psychosocial work factors, lifestyle and chronic disease showed that the duration of high-intensity physical activity during leisure was positively associated with work ability, in a dose-response fashion (p < 0.001). Those performing ≥ 5 hours of high-intensity physical activity per week had on average 8 points higher work ability than those not performing such activities. The duration of low-intensity leisure-time physical activity was not associated with work ability (p = 0.5668). Conclusions: The duration of high-intensity physical activity during leisure time is associated in a dose-response fashion with work ability, in workers with physically demanding jobs. © 2015 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.

PubMed | Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health BAuA and National Research Center for the Working Environment
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International archives of occupational and environmental health | Year: 2015

To determine the effect of job insecurity based on repeated measurements on ischemic heart disease (IHD) and on antihypertensive medication.The study population consists of 12,559 employees aged 18-59 years of the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study. With an open cohort design, data from up to four representative waves were linked to four registers. Poisson regression with time-dependent covariates was used to estimate the rate ratio (RR) with confidence interval (CI) of perceived job insecurity associated with first-time IHD hospitalization or mortality 1991-2010 (n = 561 cases) and incident dispensing of prescribed antihypertensive medications 1996-2010 (n = 2,402 cases).Participants with perceived job insecurity filled more antihypertensive prescriptions (age-, gender-, and calendar year-adjusted RR 1.23, 95 % CI 1.12-1.33) and had a borderline significant higher IHD incidence (RR 1.23, 95 % CI 0.98-1.55). In a subanalysis, the risk of antihypertensive medication dispensed was only significant among employees with worries about both unemployment and poor reemployment opportunities. After explorative stratifications by age, gender, and occupational status, perceived job insecurity was associated with more dispensing of antihypertensive medications to participants less than 50 years of age.In a country with high social security and active labor market policy, employees with the feeling of an insecure job have a modestly increased risk to fill an antihypertensive prescription. Further studies on health risks of job insecurity should consider improved exposure assessment, earlier outcomes such as medication in order to increase statistical power, and identification of vulnerable population groups.

Geraets L.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Oomen A.G.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Krystek P.,HIGH-TECH | Jacobsen N.R.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | And 5 more authors.
Particle and Fibre Toxicology | Year: 2014

Objective: The aim of this study was to obtain kinetic data that can be used in human risk assessment of titanium dioxide nanomaterials.Methods: Tissue distribution and blood kinetics of various titanium dioxide nanoparticles (NM-100, NM-101, NM-102, NM-103, and NM-104), which differ with respect to primary particle size, crystalline form and hydrophobicity, were investigated in rats up to 90 days post-exposure after oral and intravenous administration of a single or five repeated doses.Results: For the oral study, liver, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were selected as target tissues for titanium (Ti) analysis. Ti-levels in liver and spleen were above the detection limit only in some rats. Titanium could be detected at low levels in mesenteric lymph nodes. These results indicate that some minor absorption occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, but to a very limited extent.Both after single and repeated intravenous (IV) exposure, titanium rapidly distributed from the systemic circulation to all tissues evaluated (i.e. liver, spleen, kidney, lung, heart, brain, thymus, reproductive organs). Liver was identified as the main target tissue, followed by spleen and lung. Total recovery (expressed as % of nominal dose) for all four tested nanomaterials measured 24 h after single or repeated exposure ranged from 64-95% or 59-108% for male or female animals, respectively. During the 90 days post-exposure period, some decrease in Ti-levels was observed (mainly for NM-100 and NM-102) with a maximum relative decrease of 26%. This was also confirmed by the results of the kinetic analysis which revealed that for each of the investigated tissues the half-lifes were considerable (range 28-650 days, depending on the TiO2-particle and tissue investigated). Minor differences in kinetic profile were observed between the various particles, though these could not be clearly related to differences in primary particle size or hydrophobicity. Some indications were observed for an effect of crystalline form (anatase vs. rutile) on total Ti recovery.Conclusion: Overall, the results of the present oral and IV study indicates very low oral bioavailability and slow tissue elimination. Limited uptake in combination with slow elimination might result in the long run in potential tissue accumulation. © 2014 Geraets et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Guldenmund F.,Technical University of Delft | Cleal B.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Mearns K.,University of Aberdeen
Safety Science | Year: 2013

An exploratory study was carried out in three European countries - Denmark, United Kingdom and the Netherlands - concerning the safety of migrant workers, especially those coming from Eastern European countries. Special attention was given to the relationship between safety and the national background of migrant workers. Forty-four interviews with HSE experts - e.g. regulators, union representatives - in the three countries, a survey using the NOSACQ-50 safety climate questionnaire and an accident data analysis using Danish data have been combined to draw a picture of the situation of migrant workers in the three countries. Although much data is still anecdotal it is concluded that these workers form a vulnerable group. As long as many migrant workers remain unregistered in the country where they work and national accident databases are not sufficiently or systematically coded, the magnitude of the migrant worker problem remains largely elusive. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Pedersen J.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Gerds T.A.,Copenhagen University | Bjorner J.B.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Bjorner J.B.,Copenhagen University | Christensen K.B.,Copenhagen University
BMC Public Health | Year: 2014

Background: Targeted interventions for the long-term sick-listed may prevent permanent exclusion from the labour force. We aimed to develop a prediction method for identifying high risk groups for continued or recurrent long-term sickness absence, unemployment, or disability among persons on long-term sick leave. Methods. We obtained individual characteristics and follow-up data from the Danish Register of Sickness Absence Compensation Benefits and Social Transfer Payments (RSS) during 2004 to 2010 for 189,279 Danes who experienced a period of long-term sickness absence (4+ weeks). In a learning data set, statistical prediction methods were built using logistic regression and a discrete event simulation approach for a one year prediction horizon. Personalized risk profiles were obtained for five outcomes: employment, unemployment, recurrent sickness absence, continuous long-term sickness absence, and early retirement from the labour market. Predictor variables included gender, age, socio-economic position, job type, chronic disease status, history of sickness absence, and prior history of unemployment. Separate models were built for times of economic growth (2005-2007) and times of recession (2008-2010). The accuracy of the prediction models was assessed with analyses of Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves and the Brier score in an independent validation data set. Results: In comparison with a null model which ignored the predictor variables, logistic regression achieved only moderate prediction accuracy for the five outcome states. Results obtained with discrete event simulation were comparable with logistic regression. Conclusions: Only moderate prediction accuracy could be achieved using the selected information from the Danish register RSS. Other variables need to be included in order to establish a prediction method which provides more accurate risk profiles for long-term sick-listed persons. © 2014 Pedersen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Gram Quist H.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Christensen U.,Copenhagen University | Christensen K.B.,Copenhagen University | Aust B.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | And 3 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2013

Background: Lifestyle variables may serve as important intermediate factors between psychosocial work environment and health outcomes. Previous studies, focussing on work stress models have shown mixed and weak results in relation to weight change. This study aims to investigate psychosocial factors outside the classical work stress models as potential predictors of change in body mass index (BMI) in a population of health care workers. Methods. A cohort study, with three years follow-up, was conducted among Danish health care workers (3982 women and 152 men). Logistic regression analyses examined change in BMI (more than +/- 2 kg/m§ssup§2§esup§) as predicted by baseline psychosocial work factors (work pace, workload, quality of leadership, influence at work, meaning of work, predictability, commitment, role clarity, and role conflicts) and five covariates (age, cohabitation, physical work demands, type of work position and seniority). Results: Among women, high role conflicts predicted weight gain, while high role clarity predicted both weight gain and weight loss. Living alone also predicted weight gain among women, while older age decreased the odds of weight gain. High leadership quality predicted weight loss among men. Associations were generally weak, with the exception of quality of leadership, age, and cohabitation. Conclusion: This study of a single occupational group suggested a few new risk factors for weight change outside the traditional work stress models. © 2013 Gram Quist et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Petersen C.B.,University of Southern Denmark | Eriksen L.,University of Southern Denmark | Tolstrup J.S.,University of Southern Denmark | Sogaard K.,University of Southern Denmark | And 2 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2012

Background: Occupational heavy lifting is known to impose a high cardiovascular strain, but the risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD) from occupational heavy lifting is unknown. The objective was to investigate the association between occupational heavy lifting and risk of IHD and all-cause mortality, and the influence of occupational and leisure time physical activity on this association. Methods. Data were analyzed from 1987, 1994, and 2000 from the Danish National Health Interview Surveys providing a sample of 6,692 working men and 5,921 working women aged 16-85 years without cardiovascular disease at baseline. Conventional risk factors for the outcomes IHD and all-cause mortality were controlled for in Cox analyses. Results: Among men, heavy lifting was associated with increased risk for IHD (hazard ratio (HR): 1.52, 95% Confidence interval (95% CI): 1.15, 2.02), while a decreased risk was associated with occupational (HR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.37, 0.68) and leisure time (HR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.56, 0.95) physical activity. Referencing men with high occupational physical activity and no heavy lifting, men with high occupational physical activity and heavy lifting did not have an increased risk (HR: 1.11, 95% CI:0.68, 1.82), while men with low occupational physical activity and heavy lifting had a substantial increased risk (HR: 2.56, 95% CI:1.52, 4.32). No significant associations were found for all-cause mortality or for females. Conclusion: These findings indicate an excessive risk for IHD from occupational heavy lifting among men, particularly among those with low occupational and leisure time physical activity. © 2012 Petersen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Schneider T.,Kogemestervej 13 | Schneider T.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | Brouwer D.H.,TNO | Koponen I.K.,National Research Center for the Working Environment | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology | Year: 2011

As workplace air measurements of manufactured nanoparticles are relatively expensive to conduct, models can be helpful for a first tier assessment of exposure. A conceptual model was developed to give a framework for such models. The basis for the model is an analysis of the fate and underlying mechanisms of nanoparticles emitted by a source during transport to a receptor. Four source domains are distinguished; that is, production, handling of bulk product, dispersion of ready-to-use nanoproducts, fracturing and abrasion of end products. These domains represent different generation mechanisms that determine particle emission characteristics; for example, emission rate, particle size distribution, and source location. During transport, homogeneous coagulation, scavenging, and surface deposition will determine the fate of the particles and cause changes in both particle size distributions and number concentrations. The degree of impact of these processes will be determined by a variety of factors including the concentration and size mode of the emitted nanoparticles and background aerosols, source to receptor distance, and ventilation characteristics. The second part of the paper focuses on to what extent the conceptual model could be fit into an existing mechanistic predictive model for conventional exposures. The model should be seen as a framework for characterization of exposure to (manufactured) nanoparticles and future exposure modeling. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

PubMed | National Research Center for the Working Environment
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health | Year: 2012

Studies of labor market outcomes like sickness absence are usually restricted to a single outcome. This paper investigates the use of multi-state models for studying multiple transitions between sick-listing, work, unemployment, and disability pension by analyzing longitudinal register data. Every person sick-listed in Denmark during 2004 was followed until the spring of 2008.A multi-state model was used to analyze transitions between four states: work, sickness absence, unemployment, and disability pension. The first three are possible recurrent states. The predictor variables include age group, gender, geographical region, chronic disease, temporary disease, self-employment sickness absence insurance, and pregnancy. The relative effects of previous transitions were also studied.Risk of transition from sickness absence to disability pension differs with age and geographical region. Those aged 20-29 years have an increased risk of transitioning from work to sickness absence and from sickness absence to unemployment. The self-employed have increased risk of transitioning from work to sickness absence. Those with chronic disease have increased risk of sickness absence, but also a greater probability of returning to work. Previous sickness absence increases the risk of transitioning from work to sickness absence, from sickness absence to unemployment, from work to unemployment, and from work to disability pension.The multi-state model is an effective way of analyzing register data and the transitions between sickness absence, work, unemployment, and disability pension. These methods can be used to develop better predictive models of sickness absence, return to work, unemployment, and disability.

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