Friday, May 17, 2013

Noncommunicable disease risk profile of factory workers in Delhi

Background: Non communicable diseases are becoming more prevalent in India. The data for presence of non communicable diseases and its risk factors among factory workers is deficient in India. Materials and methods: A cross sectional comparative study was carried out among 37 factory workers and equal number of comparable subjects from general population. Screening for presence of diabetes along with its risk factors was made in both the groups using pretested predesigned WHO STEPS questionnaire in rural area of Delhi.  Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16 software. The estimation of risk in two groups was done with calculation of Odd’s ratio. P value less than 0.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 74 participants were included in the present study. Hypertension and diabetes was present in 13.5% and 5.4% of factory workers and 4 (10.8%) and 3 (8.8%) in non-factory subjects. 7 (18.9%) factory and 8 (21.6%) non-factory subjects fell in category of current smoker or smokeless tobacco users. HDL levels were found abnormal among 1(2.7%) case and 9 (24.3%) controls (p value 0.01). Behavioral risk factors -alcohol consumption and fruits and vegetable intake were significantly different among two groups. Conclusion: Factory workers were having better profile than non-factory subjects except for risk factors such as alcohol intake and inadequate fruits and vegetable intake. However healthy worker effect phenomenon cannot be ruled out.
Key words: Non communicable diseases, factory, healthy worker effect phenomenon
Original article published in Indian Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Lead Poisoning

Rise in lead poisoning cases sparks alarm in Capital

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The increasing number of lead poisoning cases in city hospitals have raised an alarm, with doctors saying what was once a rare occurrence seems to be more common.
"We are attending to over a dozen cases of mild and moderate lead poisoning in a month. Severe cases of lead poisoning occur as an occupational hazard among people working in the metal industry. 
"People suffering from mild and moderate lead poisoning may have repeated anaemia, a low IQ level, headache, impaired fertility and hypertension," said Dr Jugal Kishore, professor, community medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak hospital. 
Doctors have called for surveillance of the lead content in humans because there are scores of factories running in violation of the law
Doctors have called for surveillance of the lead content in humans because there are scores of factories running in violation of the law

Officials from SRL Diagnostics claimed that they receive around 600 samples every month for Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, which detects metal content in human body fluids. 
The officials claimed that at least 350 samples contain lead followed by copper (125), zinc (50) and other metals such as arsenic, mercury, aluminium and chromium. 
Recently, doctors at RML hospital attended to an 18-year-old non-smoker who came to the emergency department suffering from colicky abdominal pain for one week. 
The case was also published in The New England Journal of Medicine because of it being a rare manifestation of lead poisoning. Recently, five-year-old Diya died of lead poisoning at Kalawati Saran hospital after suffering kidney failure.
Her father worked for a battery factory in Uttam Nagar. Doctors call for surveillance of the lead content in human bodies because there are scores of recycled batteries and plastic factories running in rank violation of the law. 
Lead is dangerous because once it gets into the system, it is distributed throughout the body just like helpful minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc.

Thursday, May 2, 2013