Article: article from journal or magazin.
Motifs de consultation en médecine du travail [Reasons for consultation in occupational medicine].
Revue Médicale de La Suisse Romande
Publication types: English Abstract ; Journal Article
The inability to characterize more precisely the extent of occupational diseases limits the implementation of an effective preventive policy. Furthermore, not all work-related conditions are reported by the Swiss workers' compensation system. A seven-year (1986 to 1992) retrospective study of medical visits in an Institute of Occupational Health Sciences is presented. The objective of this study is to expand data on occupational diseases for clinical and public health intervention. 298 patients have been examined for a possible work-related condition. In 140 cases (47%), an occupational disease according to the Swiss Law was found. Respiratory tract was the main target of industrial pollutants. Respiratory irritation , solvent intoxications, contact dermatitis and asthma were the most frequent conditions seen. 97 workplace visits (32% of all medical visits) were necessary for diagnostic purposes. Painters (construction, cars) and other solvent exposed workers were at particular risk. Rare alpha-1-antitrypsin phenotypes were found several times in workers with respiratory diseases confirming the value of this test in occupational medicine. Despite many referral biases, direct clinical and public health applications of the data are possible. This study confirms the hypothesis that occupational respiratory diseases and intoxications are probably underreported in the workers' compensation statistics. Activities with an increased risk of work-related diseases have been identified so workplace intervention could be highly targeted. This study shows also that a more intense collaboration between primary care physicians, hospital services and occupational medical specialists is necessary to improve clinical and epidemiological surveillance of work-related health conditions.
Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Occupational Diseases/chemically induced, Occupational Diseases/etiology, Occupational Health Services/utilization, Pneumoconiosis/etiology, Referral and Consultation, Retrospective Studies, Switzerland
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