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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1992;25(1): 1-12.
Psychiatric symptoms of workers exposed to organic solvents.
Seoung Hoon Lee, Nung Ki Yoon, Jong Young Lee, Suk Kwon Suh
Department of Preventive Medicine School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Korea.
ABSTRACT
To assess the pattern of psychiatric symptoms and to evaluate the relationship between exposure related variables(duration of work and urinary hippuric acid concenturation) and psychiatric symptoms in organic solvent exposed workers, case control study of forty-two solvent exposed workers and ninety-six non-exposed workers was conducted. The general health questionnaire 28(GHQ28) was administered to evaluate psychiatric symptoms and urinary hippuric acid concenturations was measured to estimate the present status of solvent exposure in exposed group and to estimate normal level in non-exposed group. The meand concenturation of urinary hippuric acid was significantly higher in exposed group (2.953g/creatinine g) than non-exposed group (0.395g/creatinine g) (P<0.01). The total positive rates of symptoms were significantly higher in exposed group(28.2%) than non-exposed group(17.5%) (P<0.05). The positive rates of symptoms for four sub-scales of GHQ 28 in exposed group were in the order of somatic symptoms, anxiety, social dysfunction, depression and in the order of social dysfunction, anxiety, depression, somatic symptoms in non-exposed group.The positive rates of symptoms for somatic symptoms and anxiety were significantly higher in exposed group than non-exposed group (P<0.05) and the proportion of workers with six or more positive symptoms(dysthymic states) in exposed group were significantly higher than non-exposed group (P<0.01). After the effect of age, sex, level of income, level of education, and duration of work were controlled, the total score of GHQ28 was still significantly different between exposed and non-exposed group(P<0.01). In multiple logistic regression analysis on the dysthymic state, the odds ratio of level of income was statistically significant in both group. The odds ratios of exposure related variables such as duration of work and hippuric acid concenturations were not statistically significant but there was a tendency that exposure related variables had an effect on dysthymic state in exposed group.In future, comtinuous evaluation of psychiatric symptoms on organic solvent exposed workers and studies to detect the factors that affect on psychiatric symptoms are required.
Key words: toluene; psychiatric symptoms; hippuric acid
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