Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Salt Lake City, UT, United States

Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Salt Lake City, UT, United States

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News Article | December 27, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

After all the lifting, hauling, and wrapping, worn out gift givers may blame the season's physical strain for any shoulder soreness they are feeling. It turns out there could be another reason. A new study led by investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine finds that individuals with symptoms that put them at increased risk for heart disease could be more likely to have shoulder problems, including joint pain and rotator cuff injury. "If someone has rotator cuff problems, it could be a sign that there is something else going on. They may need to manage risk factors for heart disease," says the study's lead author Kurt Hegmann, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine and Director of the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. The research was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Repeated physical stress is most frequently blamed for aggravating shoulder joints and the muscles and tendons that surround them. Think about a pitcher who throws a baseball 100 times a day. While physical exertion can certainly be an irritant, accumulating evidence points other factors that could also be at play. Previous research found that people who had an increased risk for heart disease also had a tendency toward carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, and tennis elbow, all musculoskeletal disorders. The current study by Hegmann and colleagues adds shoulder problems to the list and takes the connection one step further. The more heart disease risk factors that each of the study participants had racked up - including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes - the more likely they were to have had shoulder trouble. 36 participants with the most severe collection of risk factors were 4.6 times more likely than those with none of the risk factors to have had shoulder joint pain. They were also nearly six times more likely to have had a second shoulder condition, rotator cuff tendinopathy. Participants with mid-level heart risk were less likely to have had either shoulder condition, at 1.5 to 3-fold. Shared trends bolster that there could be a relationship between heart risk and shoulder problems, but researchers will need to follow up with a prospective study to prove cause and effect. It may seem like physical strain would be at least just as likely to cause shoulder pain but data from the 1,226 skilled laborers who took part in the study suggest otherwise. Ergonomists carefully monitored airbag manufacturers, meat, processors, cabinet makers and skilled laborers. Every forceful twist, push, and pull was factored into a strain index assigned to each worker. But a more straining job did not translate to an uptick in shoulder difficulties. Nor did more time spent doing other physical activities. "What we think we are seeing is that high force can accelerate rotator cuff issues but is not the primary driver," says Hegmann. "Cardiovascular disease risk factors could be more important than job factors for incurring these types of problems." He says it's possible that controlling blood pressure and other heart risk factors could alleviate shoulder discomfort, too. The research was supported by the National Institute on Occupational Safety and Health and published as "Association as Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy". In addition to Hegmann, co-authors include Kara Applegate, Matthew Thiese, Eric Wood, Richard Kendall and Andrew Merryweather from the University of Utah, Jay Kapellusch, James Foster and Arun Garg from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and David Drury from the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Cross J.B.,Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health | Larson R.R.,Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health | Pahler L.F.,Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health | Sleeth D.K.,Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health
Journal of Chemical Health and Safety | Year: 2014

Study purpose: Currently, there is no OSHA or NIOSH monitoring method for subtilisin. This study evaluated a personal aerosol monitoring method for detection and quantification of subtilisin. The ACGIH ceiling limit and NIOSH short term exposure limit (STEL) for subtilisin is 0.06μg/m3 making it the lowest exposure limit established for any exposure by the organizations. This study specifically evaluated the use of an SKC Button inhalable aerosol sampler with a Grimm Aerosol Monitor for monitoring low concentrations of subtilisin particulates in air within a laundry detergent production facility. Methods: Air samples of detergent with subtilisin were collected using a Button sampler containing a glass fiber filter concurrently with a Grimm model 1.109 Aerosol Spectrometer. Nineteen sampling events of four hours each were performed over a 7-week period, with three Button samplers operating simultaneously. Sampling locations included a detergent containing subtilisin (DCS) production area and a specially constructed enclosure where DCS was introduced in a controlledmanner. Sample analysis was conducted with a Konelab Arena 20 analyzer to quantify the amount of subtilisin collected on the filter of each air sample. Results: A linear regression for the concentration of DCS aerosol measured in the enclosure by the Grimm was compared to the average concentration of DCS aerosol measured on the Button filter in the enclosure, which produced an R2 value of 0.64 (p=0.006). The Pearson's correlation produced an r value of 0.8 (p=0.006). The linear regression for the average concentrations of DCS aerosol measured on the Button filter media compared to the average subtilisin detected from the aerosol in the enclosure produced an R2 value of 0.66 (p=0.004). The Pearson's correlation produced an r value of 0.81 (p=0.004). Discussion: The amount of subtilisin in all air samples in the DCS production area were below the limit of quantitation due to the subtilisin encapsulation at the DCS production area. This caused particles sizes to be greater than the inhalable fraction (100. μm), which is also the limit of the size selectivity of the Button inhalable sampler. Conclusion: The results of the statistical evaluation from the aerosol monitoring results in the enclosure indicate the Button inhalable sampler compared with the results from the Grimm aerosol monitor may be a valid method for determining airborne subtilisin concentrations for aerosols with diameters less than or equal to the 25. μm particle size. However, due to all results below the limit of quantitation at the DCS production area, it is concluded that there are insufficient results to determine if the Button sampler with the Grimm aerosol monitor can be used in the workplace. © 2014 Division of Chemical Health and Safety of the American Chemical Society.

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