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The impact of self-reported exposure to whole-body-vibrations on the risk of disability pension among men: A 15 year prospective study


Background. Whole-body-vibrations are often associated with adverse health effect but the long term effects are less known. This study investigates the association between occupational exposures to whole-body vibrations, and subsequent transition to disability pension. Methods. A total of 4215 male employees were followed up for subsequent disability pension retirement. Exposure to whole-body-vibration was self-reported while new cases of disability pension were retrieved from a national register. Results. The hazard ratio (HR) for disability pension retirement among men exposed to whole-body-vibrations was 1.61 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-2.40) after adjustment for age, smoking habits, BMI, physical job demands and awkward work postures. In our model, with the available explanatory variables, 5.6% of the male disability pension cases were attributable to whole-body-vibrations. Conclusions. Exposure to whole-body-vibrations predicts subsequent disability pension retirement. Continued reduction of whole-body-vibrations may reduce the number of new cases of disability pension. © 2010 Tüchsen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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