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October/November 2011 (vol. 08/3)

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Research Plus

Stress link to hospital workers’ skin disorders

A study of 1,744 workers from three hospitals in Italy demonstrates that work-related skin disorders are not explained simply by exposure to hazardous agents but are also linked to occupational stress factors. Around 20% of workers reported a skin disorder on their hand in the previous 12 months, and 35% a skin problem elsewhere on their body. Workers attributed these disorders to physical hazards (gloves, wet work, hand washing and detergents); however, the risk of reported skin complaints was also increased by high job demands, low social support, high job strain and high ‘iso-strain’ (strain with isolation) as well as by anxiety and depression. The effects remained after adjusting for age, gender, occupation, use of latex gloves and a history of atopy.

BMC Public Health 2011, 11: 600.

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Occupational Health at Work October/November 2011 (vol. 08/3) pp40