Cesana et al. (1985) have indicated that glycosylated hemoglobin (HbAκ) may be a potential measure of job-stress. To examine this observation further, a questionnaire study on job-stress and health-related behaviors together with measurement of HbAκ and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) were conducted for 129 male white-collar workers at a multiphasic health examination. It was found that a total of 102 subjects with the FPG level lower than 110 mg/dl had received no medical treatment ; the score of job-dissatisfaction was signific-antly correlated with their HbAκ level (p < 0.05). None of possible confounders, i.e., age, job-overload, overtime, number of cigarettes per day, alcohol consumption, obesity and blood tests other than FPG, were significantly correlated with HbAk; the score of job-dissatisfac-tion was not significantly correlated with the FPG level. It is indicated that HbAκ may be a sensitive measure of job-dissatisfaction; further studies are needed to clarify psychophy-siological mechanisms underlying the effects of job-dissatisfaction on the HbAκ level.
Lymphocyte transformation tests with cobalt were done in 9 hard metal asthma patients diagnosed on the basis of a positive bronchial provocation test with cobalt. Positive lymphocyte proliferation in response to the metal was defined statistically from the results of 18 controls comprising 12 hard metal-exposed and 6 non-exposed controls. Out of the 4 patients who had been reported to have IgE antibody specific to cobalt, the lymphocytes of 2 proliferated with metal: one showed positive lymphocyte transformation to free cobalt, the other to both free cobalt and cobalt-conjugated human serum albumin. These results suggest that cobalt-sensitized lymphocytes play a role in some hard metal asthmatics. However, the mechanism underlying the hard metal asthma in the other 5 asthmatics who had neither cobalt-specific IgE antibody nor cobalt-sensitized lymphocytes remain to be elucidated.
Hearing loss induced by noise exposure in a large scale textile mill (number of workers = 1, 611) in Thailand was investigated on the basis of interviews, noise measurements, and audiometric tests. The frequency of subjective symptoms relating to noise exposure was higher in the weavers than among other mill workers and office workers. The average noise levels in the weaving sections and other sections were 101.3 ± 2.7 dBA and 89.8 ± 5.3 dBA, respectively. The results of the audiometric tests revealed the significantly higher noise-induced hearing loss among workers in the weaving section compared to other mill workers and office workers (P < 0.01). Among weavers, hearing levels decreased with the longer years of work. Concerning personal noise protective devices, 38.6% of the weavers never used them. It was concluded that hearing loss status in the workers of the mill was serious. Improvements by means of integrated work organization activities were recommended.