Background: Lack of knowledge about the occurrence of work-related health problems in the general population makes it difficult to estimate the potential for their prevention in the workplace. Aims: To examine the prevalence of self-reported work-related health problems among adult citizens of Oslo, Norway. Methods: The study was part of the Oslo Health Study 2000−2001, in which all individuals in certain age cohorts were invited to a comprehensive health screening. All 30-, 40- and 45-year old subjects who attended the screening were asked if they had experienced any of 11 common health problems in the past month, and whether they considered these to be work-related. Of the 26 074 invitees in these age cohorts, 8594 (33%) answered the questionnaire. Results: Nearly 60% of subjects reported one or more work-related health problems, most commonly reported were pain in the neck/shoulders (38%) and low back pain (23%). Neck/shoulder pain was most frequently attributed to working conditions, by 74% of subjects with this problem; followed by arm pain (72%), fatigue (51%) and low back pain (50%). Work-related fractions for eczema and asthma symptoms were 23 and 18%, respectively. There were marked gender differences, but small age differences. Conclusions: A substantial proportion of common...

Mehlum, Ingrid Alethe Sivesind; Kjuus, Helge; Veiersted, Kaj Bo; Wergeland, Ebba
Occupational Medicine 56: 371–379
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