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Prospective Studies Of Vibration Exposed Cohorts: Hand-Arm Vibration International Consortium (HAVIC) - Introduction; Proceedings Of The First American Conference On Human Vibration
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  • Description:
    HAVIC is a collaboration of investigators from North America, Sweden, and Finland having a scientific mandate from NIOSH, to study the exposure response relationship between vibratory tool exposure and adverse health effects. Five cohorts, the Suomossalmi forest workers cohort, Volvo truck cab workers, Connecticut shipyard workers, and matriculating dental hygiene students and experienced dental hygienists have been under study. In the case of shipyard workers, there was survey and tool exposure data from 1988, although detailed subject testing was only available within the timeframe of the study. The truck cab assembly workforce was an inception cohort that had been followed from 1994 along with age-matched controls. The Finnish forest workers had cumulative health data on a cohort (n=52) that had been studied from 1976. For a subset of these subjects, there was detailed tactometry testing in 1990, 1995, and 2003. Accordingly, there was historical as well as new prospective data for the industrial cohorts. The Suomossalmi cohort was reassembled only for our study, which precluded follow-up evaluation and because of retirement is almost certainly the last time this historic group will be studied. The study features are: Characterization of the exposure response relationship for hand-arm vibration through a study design, incorporating multiple cohorts, some having existing historical data, Selection of cohorts to include different types of vibration: oscillatory (forest workers) impact (truck cab workers), high frequency (dental hygienists) and mixed (shipyard workers), Inclusion of two inception cohorts: dental hygiene students and Swedish truck cab workers, Methods for multi-site and historical integration A description follows. [ ] Methods The study included surveys, physical evaluation, and a selection of battery of best tests (cold challenge plethysmography, multi-frequency tactometry, segmental sensory nerve conduction velocity [SNCV]1,2,3) applied across groups to quantify responses to exposure. Exposure monitoring included exposure characterization through daylong data logging at the individual level. Workers at each site were instrumented with a microcomputer-based Vibration Exposure Monitoring (VEM) system, developed at the Biodynamics Laboratory of UCHC and about the size of a police walkie-talkie, to record user-specific tool-operating times, vibrations, and grip forces throughout all, or a representative part, of their workday. More specifically, data logging methods involved the direct monitoring of work cycles, involving tool operation time and measures of tool vibration, namely the root-mean-square (RMS), root-mean-quad (RMQ), and root-mean-oct (RMO), and grip forces, each calculated per minute. For this study, the questionnaire was homogenized with other vibration studies4,5,6. Cross-translation was directed by the multi-lingual investigators, and then reviewed by the study team. To extend comparability with future international studies, questions were also added from the Vibration Network (VINET) draft questionnaire, the product of a European

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