A postwoman delivering mail using a low-powered motorcycle was diagnosed with bilateral Raynaud's phenomenon.

This case report presents the hypothesis that the effect of HAV may result not in a single disorder, but in multiple disorders. Although occupational epidemiological studies do not usually address comorbidity, it is not uncommon for exposure to produce multiple effects (e.g. an association between HAV and tendonitis has been reported). Comorbidity due to occupational exposure therefore needs further epidemiological investigation. For 15 years the woman had driven a two-stroke 50 cc motorcycle to deliver mail and was exposed to hand-arm vibration for 4 h/day. Before delivering the mail, she had to prepare the mailbags by herself every day. Ergonomic stress factors, as well as hand-arm vibration, are present when riding a motorcycle, like awkward postures of the wrist in combination with hand force. She also worked as a sorter for 5 years at the beginning of her working life.

Compared with men, women seem to develop injuries after a shorter period of vibration exposure. This case suggests the importance of studying gender differences in terms of dose-response to vibration exposure.

 

Source:  A case report of vibration-induced hand comorbidities in a postwoman. Stefano Mattioli , Francesca Graziosi , Roberta Bonfiglioli , Giuseppe Barbieri , Sandra Bernardelli , Luciano Acquafresca , Francesco S Violante , Andrea Farioli and Mats Hagberg; BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:47doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-47, 14 February 2011.

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/12/47

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