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Subjective annoyance attributed to electrical equipments and smells - Epidemiology and stress physiology

Eek, Frida LU (2005) In Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series 2005:16.
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Utbredningen av besvär som attribueras till elektrisk utrustning respektive kemikalielukter och andra odörer är ännu ej till fullo fastställd. Vidare saknas kunskap om eventuella bakomliggande faktorer för dessa besvärs uppkomst.



Syftet med avhandlingen var att undersöka utbredningen av besvär som attribueras till elektriska faktorer, kemikalier och lukter, samt undersöka eventuella associationer med subjektivt välbefinnande och funktionsförmåga, samt sjukvårdskonsumtion. Vidare avsågs att undersöka huruvida personer med el- och kemikalierelaterade besvär (subjektiv miljökänslighet, MK) uppvisade avvikande dygnsrytm av stresshormonet kortisol (i saliv), jämfört med personer... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Utbredningen av besvär som attribueras till elektrisk utrustning respektive kemikalielukter och andra odörer är ännu ej till fullo fastställd. Vidare saknas kunskap om eventuella bakomliggande faktorer för dessa besvärs uppkomst.



Syftet med avhandlingen var att undersöka utbredningen av besvär som attribueras till elektriska faktorer, kemikalier och lukter, samt undersöka eventuella associationer med subjektivt välbefinnande och funktionsförmåga, samt sjukvårdskonsumtion. Vidare avsågs att undersöka huruvida personer med el- och kemikalierelaterade besvär (subjektiv miljökänslighet, MK) uppvisade avvikande dygnsrytm av stresshormonet kortisol (i saliv), jämfört med personer utan MK, samt att undersöka huruvida personer med MK uppvisade tecken på sänkt hämning av hypothalamus-hypofys-binjurebark (HPA) axeln vid binjurebarksuppressionstest med dexamethason.



De epidemiologiska resultaten i avhandlingen baseras på en folkhälsoenkät som skickades ut till 24 922 skåningar, och besvarades av 13 604 personer. Stresstudien utfördes med 141 försökspersoner, rekryterade ur denna kohort. Eventuella rubbningar i dygnsrytmen av kortisol studerades genom att mäta kortisolvärden över dagen, relativ morgonstegring, fall över dagen, samt hämningen av insöndring av kortisol efter intag av syntetiskt kortisol (dexamethason).



El- och lukt/kemikalierelaterade besvär (MK) visade sig vara vanligt förekommande. Ca 30% rapporterade åtminstone någon grad av besvärsreaktioner. Kraftigare besvärsreaktioner angavs av ca 6%. Grupper med MK uppgav lägre välbefinnande och sämre vardaglig funktionsförmåga än befolkningen i stort, men endast lätt förhöjd sjukvårdskonsumtion. Individer med MK visade inte några avvikelser från det normala i kortisoldygnsrytm. Inte heller sågs några avvikelser från det normala i hämningen av kortisolinsöndring efter intag av syntetiskt kortisol. Dagliga skattningar av besvär under 14 dagar bekräftade bilden av förhöjd känslomässig och kroppslig besvärsnivå, sämre sömnkvalitet och ökad stressupplevelse i vardagen, främst i gruppen med besvär som attribuerades till både el och lukt/kemikalier.



Slutsats: El- och lukt/kemikalierelaterade besvär var vanligt förekommande i befolkningen. Sammantaget antyder resultaten att individer med besvär attribuerade till både elektrisk utrustning och lukt/kemikalier var den mest besvärsbelastade och utsatta gruppen. Dock kunde inte några fysiologiska tecken på förhöjd stressrespons påvisas vid MK. (Less)
Abstract
Self-reported annoyance from electrical equipment has been in evidence since the mid-eighties, and the first reports of illness from everyday chemicals arose already in the 1960?s. However, the extent of the problem or the mechanisms behind the development of environmentally related annoyance has not yet been fully established. Increased vulnerability to stress has been suggested to be a possible mechanism behind sensitivity to electricity and common smells.



The aim of this thesis was to estimate the prevalence of annoyance related to electrical and chemical factors in a Swedish general population, and to assess possible relations to subjective health, daily functioning and health care utilisation. A further aim was to... (More)
Self-reported annoyance from electrical equipment has been in evidence since the mid-eighties, and the first reports of illness from everyday chemicals arose already in the 1960?s. However, the extent of the problem or the mechanisms behind the development of environmentally related annoyance has not yet been fully established. Increased vulnerability to stress has been suggested to be a possible mechanism behind sensitivity to electricity and common smells.



The aim of this thesis was to estimate the prevalence of annoyance related to electrical and chemical factors in a Swedish general population, and to assess possible relations to subjective health, daily functioning and health care utilisation. A further aim was to disclose differential patterns of cortisol secretion in three environmentally annoyed groups, compared with non-annoyed persons, and to test whether the environmentally annoyed subjects would fail to show a suppressed hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test.



A population based health survey encompassing 13 604 persons were used for the epidemiological analyses regarding prevalence of environmental annoyance, and relation to subjective health and well being. Record linkage was performed to analyse health care utilisation. The stress study included 141 subjects, recruited from the survey population. During a two-week period, the participants filled in a logbook including questions regarding sleep quality, subjective stress and health complaints. During four days, the participants also collected saliva samples, four samples each day, with reference to awakening. The functioning of the HPA axis was tested by an overnight dexamethasone suppression test.



Annoyance attributed to environmental factors was common in the general Scanian population studied. Of the respondents, 30% stated to be annoyed to any degree, and 6% reported ?much? annoyance, attributed to some electrical factors, chemicals or smells. Subjects associating annoyance with electrical factors, chemicals or smells rated their overall health and functional capacity significantly poorer than the general population. Despite this, the health care utilisation was not much increased in a group with annoyance attributed to both electricity and chemicals/smells. In the stress study, the environmentally annoyed subjects did not present elevated physiological stress levels during daily life. The group with annoyance attributed to both electricity and smells experienced higher levels of subjective stress and health complaints during the two-week period, although these feelings did not influence the HPA activity. All groups showed normal suppression of the HPA axis after ingestion of dexamethasone.



Subjective annoyance attributed to electrical and chemical factors was common in the population. Subjects attributing annoyance to both electrical and chemical factors appeared to be the most affected regarding subjective stress and well being. However, no evidence of elevated physiological stress response was found in any of the examined groups. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Docent Gunnarsson, Lars-Gunnar, Yrkes- och miljömedicinska kliniken, Örebro och Institutionen för Klinisk Medicin, Örebro Universite
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
environmental intolerance, IEI, epidemiology, diabetology, secreting systems, Endocrinology, cortisol, stress, sekretion, Endokrinologi, Public health, diabetologi, Folkhälsa, epidemiologi, Occupational health, Yrkesmedicin, industrial medicine, arbetsmiljömedicin, Environmental health, Miljömedicin
in
Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series
volume
2005:16
pages
161 pages
publisher
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University
defense location
Föreläsningssal 1, Centralblocket USIL
defense date
2005-04-29 13:15
ISSN
1652-8220
ISBN
91-85439-23-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6f788461-5f64-4432-a074-f8dfdf092b28 (old id 544651)
date added to LUP
2007-10-13 12:00:34
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:56
@phdthesis{6f788461-5f64-4432-a074-f8dfdf092b28,
  abstract     = {Self-reported annoyance from electrical equipment has been in evidence since the mid-eighties, and the first reports of illness from everyday chemicals arose already in the 1960?s. However, the extent of the problem or the mechanisms behind the development of environmentally related annoyance has not yet been fully established. Increased vulnerability to stress has been suggested to be a possible mechanism behind sensitivity to electricity and common smells.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The aim of this thesis was to estimate the prevalence of annoyance related to electrical and chemical factors in a Swedish general population, and to assess possible relations to subjective health, daily functioning and health care utilisation. A further aim was to disclose differential patterns of cortisol secretion in three environmentally annoyed groups, compared with non-annoyed persons, and to test whether the environmentally annoyed subjects would fail to show a suppressed hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
A population based health survey encompassing 13 604 persons were used for the epidemiological analyses regarding prevalence of environmental annoyance, and relation to subjective health and well being. Record linkage was performed to analyse health care utilisation. The stress study included 141 subjects, recruited from the survey population. During a two-week period, the participants filled in a logbook including questions regarding sleep quality, subjective stress and health complaints. During four days, the participants also collected saliva samples, four samples each day, with reference to awakening. The functioning of the HPA axis was tested by an overnight dexamethasone suppression test.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Annoyance attributed to environmental factors was common in the general Scanian population studied. Of the respondents, 30% stated to be annoyed to any degree, and 6% reported ?much? annoyance, attributed to some electrical factors, chemicals or smells. Subjects associating annoyance with electrical factors, chemicals or smells rated their overall health and functional capacity significantly poorer than the general population. Despite this, the health care utilisation was not much increased in a group with annoyance attributed to both electricity and chemicals/smells. In the stress study, the environmentally annoyed subjects did not present elevated physiological stress levels during daily life. The group with annoyance attributed to both electricity and smells experienced higher levels of subjective stress and health complaints during the two-week period, although these feelings did not influence the HPA activity. All groups showed normal suppression of the HPA axis after ingestion of dexamethasone.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Subjective annoyance attributed to electrical and chemical factors was common in the population. Subjects attributing annoyance to both electrical and chemical factors appeared to be the most affected regarding subjective stress and well being. However, no evidence of elevated physiological stress response was found in any of the examined groups.},
  author       = {Eek, Frida},
  isbn         = {91-85439-23-1},
  issn         = {1652-8220},
  keyword      = {environmental intolerance,IEI,epidemiology,diabetology,secreting systems,Endocrinology,cortisol,stress,sekretion,Endokrinologi,Public health,diabetologi,Folkhälsa,epidemiologi,Occupational health,Yrkesmedicin,industrial medicine,arbetsmiljömedicin,Environmental health,Miljömedicin},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {161},
  publisher    = {Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series},
  title        = {Subjective annoyance attributed to electrical equipments and smells - Epidemiology and stress physiology},
  volume       = {2005:16},
  year         = {2005},
}