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Neurovascular hand symptoms in relation to cold exposure in northern Sweden: a population-based study
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. (Arcum)
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2017 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 90, no 7, p. 587-595Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: To describe the self-reported ambient cold exposure in northern Sweden and to relate the level of cumulative cold exposure to the occurrence of sensory and vascular hand symptoms. We hypothesize that cold exposure is positively related to reporting such symptoms.

METHODS: A questionnaire about cold exposure and related symptoms was sent out to 35,144 subjects aged 18-70 years and living in northern Sweden.

RESULTS: A total of 12,627 out of 35,144 subjects returned the questionnaire (response rate 35.9%). Subjects living in the rural alpine areas reported more extensive cold exposure both during work and leisure time compared to the urbanized coastal regions. Frostbite in the hands was present in 11.4% of men and 7.1% of women, cold sensitivity was present in 9.7 and 14.4%, and Raynaud's phenomenon was present in 11.0% of men and 14.0% of women. There was a positive association between cumulative cold exposure and neurovascular hand symptoms.

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that the cold environment in northern Sweden might be an underestimated health risk. Our hypothesis that cold exposure is positively related to reporting of neurovascular hand symptoms was supported by our findings. In addition, such symptoms were common not only in conjunction with an overt cold injury. Our results warrant further study on pathophysiological mechanisms and suggest the need for confirmatory prevalence studies to support national public health planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 90, no 7, p. 587-595
Keywords [en]
Cold exposure, Cold sensitivity, Frostbite, Hand, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Sweden
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133879DOI: 10.1007/s00420-017-1221-3ISI: 000409295700003PubMedID: 28401298OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-133879DiVA, id: diva2:1089523
Available from: 2017-04-20 Created: 2017-04-20 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Stjernbrandt, AlbinBjör, BodilAndersson, MartinBurström, LageLiljelind, IngridNilsson, TohrLundström, RonnieWahlström, Jens
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