Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya

Co-organiser

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya

THE CLINICAL FEATURES OF HAND ARM VIBRATION SYNDROME IN A WARM ENVIRONMENT - A REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Author

Anselm Ting Su 1 , Azlan Darus 1 , Awang Bulgiba 1 , Setsuo Maeda 2 , Kazuhisa Miyashita 3

Institution

1 Julius Centre University of Malaya, Malaysia
2 Kinki University, Japan
3 Wakayama Medical University, Japan

Abstract

Objectives: We conducted a systematic review on the health effects of hand transmitted vibration exposure in tropical countries to determine the characteristics of the hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in a warm environment and compared the findings with the results of the systematic reviews published by the US NIOSH.

Methods: We searched major medical databases including Medline, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Ovid and Cochrane based on the terms: “hand arm vibration syndrome”, “hand transmitted vibration”, “vibration white finger” and “Raynaud” up to January 2011. Only studies conducted in a tropical or subtropical environment were selected for the review. The quality of the selected papers was assessed independently by two investigators using predefined criteria. A standard set of information was abstracted from the papers for review.

Results: Only six papers from tropical countries and three papers from subtropical countries were available in the literature. No vibration white finger was reported in the tropical countries. The neurological symptoms were prevalent in the vibration exposed workers. Finger coldness seems to be an important surrogate for vascular disorder in tropical environment.

Conclusion: The dose response relationship in ISO5349-1 for hand transmitted vibration exposure is not applicable to a tropical environment. Further studies on HAVS in tropical countries are needed.