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1.  Mathematically Derived Body Volume and Risk of Musculoskeletal Pain among Housewives in North India 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80133.
Background
Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 demonstrates the impact of musculoskeletal diseases as the second greatest cause of disability globally in all regions of the world. The study was conducted to determine the role of mathematically derived body volume (BV), body volume index (BVI), body mass index (BMI), body surface area (BSA) and body fat % (BF %) on musculoskeletal pain (MSP) among housewives in National Capital Region (NCR).
Methods
A cross sectional study was undertaken among 495 housewives from Gurgaon and New Okhla Industrial Development Area (NOIDA) in National Capital Region (NCR), New Delhi, India. The study includes questionnaire survey, clinical examination and body composition monitoring among housewives.
Results
A significantly higher BMI, BVI, BV and BSA were observed in subjects with MSP as compared to those who had no MSP. This was also true for subjects with pain in knee for BMI category for overweight. Subjects with pain in limbs had significantly high BMI and BVI as compared to subjects with no MSP. A significant positive correlation of age with BMI, BVI, BV and BSA was observed among subjects having no MSP denoting a direct relationship of age and these body factors.
Conclusions
The prevalence of MSP among housewives is associated with increasing age, BMI and BVI. This can possibly be used for formulating a strategy for prevention of MSP.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080133
PMCID: PMC3819295  PMID: 24223218
3.  Adverse Respiratory Health and Hematological Alterations among Agricultural Workers Occupationally Exposed to Organophosphate Pesticides: A Cross-Sectional Study in North India 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69755.
Background
Non-protective work practices followed by farm workers during spraying of pesticides lead to occupational exposure among them.
Objective
This study is designed to explore the respiratory health and hematological profile of agricultural workers occupationally exposed to OP pesticides.
Materials and Methods
A cross sectional study was undertaken among 166 pesticide sprayers working in mango orchards of Lucknow district in North India compared with 77 controls to assess the respiratory illness, lung functions, cholinesterase levels and hematological profile. A questionnaire based survey and clinical examination for respiratory health were conducted among study subjects. Lung function test was conducted among study subjects by using spirometer. Cholinesterase level as biomarker of OP pesticides and hematological profile of study subjects were investigated in the laboratory by following the standard protocols.
Results
Overall respiratory morbidity observed among exposed subjects was 36.75%. Symptoms for respiratory illness like dry cough, productive cough, wheezing, irritation of throat and blood stained sputum were found to be significantly more (p<0.05) among pesticide sprayers than controls. Lung function parameters viz. PEFR, FEV1, %PEFR predicted, %FEV1 predicted and FEV1/FVC were found to be significantly decreased (p<0.05) among pesticide sprayers as compared to controls. Exposure wise distribution of respiratory illness and lung functions among pesticide sprayers show that the exposure duration significantly elevates (p<0.05) the respiratory problems and significantly decreases (p<0.001) lung functions among pesticide sprayers. Activities of acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase were found to be significantly depleted (p<0.001) among pesticide sprayers as compared to controls which show the exposure of OP pesticides among them. The hematological profile viz. RBC, WBC, monocytes, neutrophils, MCV, MCH, MCHC and platelet count were significantly altered (p<0.001) in pesticide sprayers than controls.
Conclusion
This study shows that the unsafe occupational exposure of OP pesticides causes respiratory illness, decreased lung functions and hematological alterations among pesticide sprayers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0069755
PMCID: PMC3723784  PMID: 23936093
4.  Frequency of Thyroid Dysfunctions during Interferon Alpha Treatment of Single and Combination Therapy in Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Patients: A Systematic Review Based Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55364.
Background
Thyroid dysfunction is the commonest endocrinopathy associated with HCV infection due to interferon-based treatment. This comprehensive and systematic review presents the available evidence for newly developed thyroid antibodies and dysfunctions during interferon treatment (both single and combination) in HCV patients.
Methodology/Principal Findings
This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines. The data generated were used to analyze the risk for thyroid dysfunctions during interferon (IFN) treatment in HCV patients. There was a wide range in the incidence of newly developed thyroid dysfunctions and thyroid antibodies in HCV patients during IFN treatment (both single and combination). The wide range of incidence also denoted the possibility of factors other than IFN treatment for thyroid-related abnormalities in HCV patients. These other factors include HCV viral factors, genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and patho-physiological factors. Variations in IFN dosage, treatment duration of IFN, definition/criteria followed in each study for thyroid dysfunction and irregular thyroid function testing during treatment in different studies influence the outcome of the single studies and jeopardise the validity of a pooled risk estimate of side effects of thyroid dysfunction. Importantly, reports differ as to whether the thyroid-related side effects disappear totally after withdrawal of the IFN treatment.
Conclusions/Significance
The present review shows that there is a wide range in the incidence of newly developed thyroid dysfunctions and thyroid antibodies in IFN treated HCV patients. This is a comprehensive attempt to collate relevant data from 56 publications across several nations about IFN (both mono and combination therapy) related thyroid dysfunction among HCV patients. The role of each factor in causing thyroid dysfunctions in HCV patients treated with IFN should be analyzed in detail in future studies, for a better understanding of the problem and sounder clinical management of the disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055364
PMCID: PMC3562313  PMID: 23383326
5.  Radiation exposure of eyes, thyroid gland and hands in orthopaedic staff: a systematic review 
Background
Various procedures, especially minimal invasive techniques using fluoroscopy, pose a risk of radiation exposure to orthopaedic staff. Anatomical sites such as the eyes, thyroid glands and hands are more vulnerable to radiation considering the limited use of personal protective devices in the workplace. The objective of the study is to assess the annual mean cumulative and per procedure radiation dose received at anatomical locations like eyes, thyroid glands and hands in orthopaedic staff using systematic review.
Methods
The review of literature was conducted using systematic search of the database sources like PUBMED and EMBASE using appropriate keywords. The eligibility criteria and the data extraction of literature were based on study design (cohort or cross-sectional study), study population (orthopaedic surgeons or their assistants), exposure (doses of workplace radiation exposure at hands/fingers, eye/forehead, neck/thyroid), language (German and English). The literature search was conducted using a PRISMA checklist and flow chart.
Results
Forty-two articles were found eligible and included for the review. The results show that radiation doses for the anatomical locations of eye, thyroid gland and hands were lower than the dose levels recommended. But there is a considerable variation of radiation dose received at all three anatomical locations mainly due to different situations including procedures (open and minimally invasive), work experience (junior and senior surgeons),distance from the primary and secondary radiation, and use of personal protective equipments (PPEs). The surgeons receive higher radiation dose during minimally invasive procedures compared to open procedures. Junior surgeons are at higher risk of radiation exposure compared to seniors. PPEs play a significant role in reduction of radiation dose.
Conclusions
Although the current radiation precautions appear to be adequate based on the low dose radiation, more in-depth studies are required on the variations of radiation dose in orthopaedic staff, at different anatomical locations and situations.
doi:10.1186/2047-783X-17-28
PMCID: PMC3554445  PMID: 23111028
Radiation; Dose; Orthopaedic
6.  Groundwater Contaminated with Hexavalent Chromium [Cr (VI)]: A Health Survey and Clinical Examination of Community Inhabitants (Kanpur, India) 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47877.
Background
We assessed the health effects of hexavalent chromium groundwater contamination (from tanneries and chrome sulfate manufacturing) in Kanpur, India.
Methods
The health status of residents living in areas with high Cr (VI) groundwater contamination (N = 186) were compared to residents with similar social and demographic features living in communities having no elevated Cr (VI) levels (N = 230). Subjects were recruited at health camps in both the areas. Health status was evaluated with health questionnaires, spirometry and blood hematology measures. Cr (VI) was measured in groundwater samples by diphenylcarbazide reagent method.
Results
Residents from communities with known Cr (VI) contamination had more self-reports of digestive and dermatological disorders and hematological abnormalities. GI distress was reported in 39.2% vs. 17.2% males (AOR = 3.1) and 39.3% vs. 21% females (AOR = 2.44); skin abnormalities in 24.5% vs. 9.2% males (AOR = 3.48) and 25% vs. 4.9% females (AOR = 6.57). Residents from affected communities had greater RBCs (among 30.7% males and 46.1% females), lower MCVs (among 62.8% males) and less platelets (among 68% males and 72% females) than matched controls. There were no differences in leucocytes count and spirometry parameters.
Conclusions
Living in communities with Cr (VI) groundwater is associated with gastrointestinal and dermatological complaints and abnormal hematological function. Limitations of this study include small sample size and the lack of long term follow-up.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047877
PMCID: PMC3480439  PMID: 23112863
7.  Infectious diseases in healthcare workers – an analysis of the standardised data set of a German compensation board 
Introduction
Healthcare workers (HCW) are exposed to infectious agents. Disease surveillance is therefore needed in order to foster prevention.
Methods
The data of the compensation board that covers HCWs of non-governmental healthcare providers in Germany was analysed for a five-year period. For hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, the period analysed was extended to the last 15 years. The annual rate of occupational infectious diseases (OIDs) per 100,000 employees was calculated. For needlestick injuries (NSI) a rate per 1,000 employees was calculated.
Results
Within the five years from 2005 to 2009 a total of 384 HCV infections were recognised as OIDs (1.5/100,000 employees). Active TB was the second most frequent cause of an OID. While the numbers of HBV and HCV infections decreased, the numbers for active TB did not follow a clear pattern. Needlestick injuries (NSIs) were reported especially often at hospitals (29.9/1,000 versus 7.4/1,000 employees for all other HCWs).
Conclusion
Although they are declining, HCV infections remain frequent in HCWs, as do NSIs. Whether the reinforcement of the recommendations for the use of safety devices in Germany will prevent NSIs and therefore HCV infections should be closely observed.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-7-8
PMCID: PMC3474162  PMID: 22553942
Healthcare workers; Infections; Tuberculosis; Needlestick injuries; Blood-borne virus infections
8.  The normal range of body mass index with high body fat percentage among male residents of Lucknow city in north India 
Background & objectives:
Several studies have raised the suspicion that the body mass index (BMI) cut-off for overweight as defined by the WHO may not adequately reflect the actual overweight status. The present study looked at the relationship between BMI and body fat per cent (BF %) / health risks (hypertension and type 2 diabetes) in male residents of Lucknow city, north India to evaluate the validity of BMI cut-off points for overweight.
Methods:
One thousand one hundred and eleven male volunteer subjects (18-69 yr) who participated in different programmes organized by the Institute during 2005 to 2008 were included in the study. BF% was measured using commercially available digital weight scale incorporating bioelectrical impedance (BI) analyzer. The proposed cut-off for BMI based on BF % was calculated using receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis.
Results:
Forty four per cent subjects showed higher BF % (>25%) with BMI range (24-24.99 kg/m2). Sensitivity and specificity at BMI cut-off at 24.5 kg/m3 were 83.2 and 77.5, respectively. Sensitivity at BMI cut-off >25 kg/m2 was reduced by 5 per cent and specificity increased by 4.6 per cent when compared to 24.5 cut-off.
Interpretation & conclusions:
The study subjects showed higher body fat percentage and risk factors like hypertension and type 2 diabetes at normal BMI range proposed by the WHO. The cut-off for BMI was proposed to be 24.5 kg/m2 for our study population. If overweight is regarded as an excess of body fat and not as an excess of weight (increased BMI), the cut-off points for overweight based on BMI would need to be lowered. However, the confidence of estimate of the BMI cut-off in the present study may be considered with the limitations of BI analysis studies.
doi:10.4103/0971-5916.93427
PMCID: PMC3307188  PMID: 22382186
BMI; body fat %; new cut-off; overweight

Results 1-8 (8)