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August/September 2008 (vol. 05/2)

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Research Plus

Chronic health versus accident risk

A systematic literature review unearthed 38 papers relevant to an investigation of whether common health conditions – and their treatments – increase the risk of occupational injury. Fifteen studies examined risks associated with hearing conditions, 11 with mental health and 10 with vision problems. A ‘moderate’ increase in risk was associated with impaired hearing, neurotic illness, diabetes, epilepsy and use of sedating medication; however, there were many gaps in the evidence base and just two of the papers (both covered use of medication) were rated as of ‘excellent’ quality. A meta-analysis of pooled results was not possible. Better research is needed to provide an evidence base to underpin fitness-for-work decisions.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2008; online first: doi: 10.1136/oem.2007.037440  http://oem.bmj.com/content/early/2008/04/16/oem.2007.037440.abstract

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Occupational Health at Work August/September 2008 (vol. 05/2) pp38-39