Peripheral neuropathy in military aircraft maintenance workers in Australia

Maya Guest, John R. Attia, Catherine A. D'Este, May M. Boggess, Anthony M. Brown, Richard E. Gibson, Meredith A. Tavener, James Ross, Ian Gardner, Warren Harrex

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to examine possible persisting peripheral neuropathy in a group who undertook fuel tank repairs on F-111 aircraft, relative to two contemporaneous comparison groups. Methods: Vibration perception threshold (VPT) was tested using biothesiometry in 614 exposed personnel, compared with two unexposed groups (513 technical trades and 403 nontrades). Regression modeling was used to examine associations, adjusting for possible confounders. Results: We observed that 26% of participants had chronic persistent increased VPT in the great toe. In contrast, statistically significant higher VPT of the great toe was observed in the comparison groups; however, the effect was small, about 1/4 the magnitude of diabetes. Age, height, and diabetes were all significant and strong predictors in most models. Conclusion: This study highlights chronic persisting peripheral neuropathy in a population of aircraft maintainers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Guest, M., Attia, J. R., D'Este, C. A., Boggess, M. M., Brown, A. M., Gibson, R. E., Tavener, M. A., Ross, J., Gardner, I., & Harrex, W. (2011). Peripheral neuropathy in military aircraft maintenance workers in Australia. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 53(4), 381-387. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e318212226d