Quantitatively measured tremor in hand-arm vibration-exposed workers
Objectives The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible increase in hand tremor in relation to hand-arm vibration (HAV) exposure in a cohort of exposed and unexposed workers.
Methods Participants were 178 male workers with or without exposure to HAV. The study is cross-sectional regarding the outcome of tremor and has a longitudinal design with respect to exposure. The dose of HAV exposure was collected via questionnaires and measurements at several follow-ups. The CATSYS Tremor Pen® was used for measuring postural tremor. Multiple linear regression methods were used to analyze associations between different tremor variables and HAV exposure, along with predictor variables with biological relevance.
Results There were no statistically significant associations between the different tremor variables and cumulative HAV or current exposure. Age was a statistically significant predictor of variation in tremor outcomes for three of the four tremor variables, whereas nicotine use was a statistically significant predictor of either left or right hand or both hands for all four tremor variables.
Conclusions In the present study, there was no evidence of an exposure–response association between HAV exposure and measured postural tremor. Increase in age and nicotine use appeared to be the strongest predictors of tremor.