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International maritime health [journal]
- The Mental Health on Board project (MENHOB) has started working. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):219-20.
- Mycobacterium leprae: pathogenic agent in leprosy. Discovery of new species Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Perspectives in research and diagnosis of leprosy. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):213-8.
M. leprae was presumed as an aetiologic agent in DLL, without specific microbiologic studios in the past. The sequencing of the genome through genetic testing led to the discovery of a new species M. lepromatosis by Han et al. in 2008.The genetic analysis of the phylogeny of bacteria, based on the analysis of the 16S rRNA coding regions and other genes (eg, rpoB, rpoT, hsp65, mmaA, fibF-rpsO) appears to be helpful in species discrimination. Twenty genes and pseudogenes (22,818 bp of sequence) proved that in the phylogenetic tree M. leprae and M. lepromatosis are closely related. On the other hand, the differences were great, which gave rise to the distinction between the two species. Detected insertions in both species of mycobacteria in the rRNA and mmaA genes were similar to each other and were found only in the human genome, which confirms the close relationship during M. leprae and M. lepromatosis evolution of genomes in the human species.The first population-based study analysing the presence of both mycobacteria indicates that M. lepromatosis came to America with human populations migrating from Asia through the Strait of Bering, in contrast to M. leprae, which came to America with the colonists and as a result of the slave trade.The latest experiments with M. lepromatosis showed that it is a specific agent in DLL, not only in the endemic area in Mexico, but also in different parts of the world. M. lepromatosis was also found in other forms of multibacillary leprosy, or as a dual infection with M. leprae, as well. There are great expectations that genetic methods with the sequencing of the whole genome will lead to a better understanding of some of the mysteries behind leprosy.
- The epidemiology of murder and suicide involving scuba diving. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):207-12.
Murder and suicide in involving scuba are extremely rare. A systematic search identified 19 published studies describing 4,339 recreational diving fatalities occurring between 1956 and 2011. Case vignettes identified three possible murders and eight likely suicides. These are summarised and the victims' demography described. Prevalences of 69 murders per 105 diving fatalities and 184 suicides per 105 diving fatalities are lower than found among all cause mortality in the USA and Australia.
- Seafarer with hyperactivity disorder on amphetamine. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):204-6.
A general practitioner decided that a first-time Scandinavian seafarer with hyperactivity disorder, reasonably well-regulated on dextroamphetamine, was fit for unrestricted work at sea. Carrying amphetamine across US borders is drug smuggling, and when the cruise ship could not supply his medication from local ports, his behaviour became so erratic that he had to be signed off. Doctors providing medical fitness certificates for work at sea must understand the special requirements of seafaring life, know details about medicine use restrictions aboard, and be familiar with international import bans and national prescription regulations for controlled substances.
- Are we winning the war with the pirates? [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):195-203.
- Psychological stress in seafarers: a review. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):188-94.
Seafaring is a particular profession, in which workers are usually exposed to several stressors that are related to the different duties on board ships. This paper has reviewed the main publications on different factors affecting seafarers with the purpose of identifying specific stress factors related to a particular duty on board.A literature search was conducted using the online databases PubMed and OvidSP. A survey on health, stress, and fatigue of Australian Seafarers published by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) fulfilling the selection criteria was also examined. This publication provided relevant data obtained from a large sample of seafarers.Our analysis confirmed that seafaring is associated with mental, psychosocial, and physical stressors. The most important factors were separation from family, loneliness on board, fatigue, multi-nationality, limited recreation activity, and sleep deprivation. The AMSA report gave a more detailed analysis on lifestyle and relevant factors inducing psychological distress. Stressors affecting seafarers working in the engine room were different from those involving the deck crew. Sleep quality and duration were reported to be poor mainly in pilots, whereas deck crew tended to be less adherent to physical exercise and healthy lifestyle recommendations.Seafaring is still associated with relevant mental health risks. Information on known stress factors on board should be provided to seafarers to help them in lowering stress perception. Strategies for coping with "inevitable" stress conditions should also be investigated and developed. Strategies to decrease risks of stress should be directed to the different categories of seafarers, and the results of specific interventions should be evaluated.
- Heart rate variability and cortisol responses during attentional and working memory tasks in naval cadets. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):181-7.
The aim of the paper was to study the relationship between heart rate variability (HRV) and cortisol release during cognitive challenging tasks. Forty-nine male naval cadets from the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy were administered computerised versions of attentional and working memory tests. The results from this study support the hypothesis of a negative correlation between HRV and cortisol secretion during cognitive tasks. Confirmation of the hypothesis with the low HRV group scoring higher on cortisol only during performance of cognitive tasks and recovery was also found. Furthermore, a replication of the previous findings of a negative association between cortisol levels and performance were supported when using uncorrected comparisons. None of the correlations survived Bonferonin corrections. The findings are discussed in relation to factors increasing HRV, thus improving tolerance to cognitive stress in onboard environments.
- Work demands are related to mental health problems for older engine room officers. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):176-80.
The aim of the present study was to analyse the main and interaction effects of age and psychosocial work demands on mental wellbeing in a sample (N = 685; age M = 47 years) of engine room officers in the Swedish merchant fleet. As expected, work demands were highly related to general mental health as well as to perceived stress, while the main effect of age only related significantly to perceived stress. The interaction effects between high work demands and high age significantly explained the variance of general mental health as well as perceived stress. The results can be understood as a consequence of the rapid technological and organisational development in the shipping industry and suggest that it ought be of high priority to provide older employees with work-related resources to support their long-term work performance as well as their health and wellbeing.
- Letter from the editor. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2012; 63(4):175.
- Stress and the level of perceived anxiety among mariners: the mediating role of marital satisfaction. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2013; 64(4):221-5.
The challenges of professional life are becoming more and more demanding on people's private life, especially if a given profession requires many sacrifices and has negative consequences for one's physical and psychological health, as is the case of professional mariners. The purpose of this study is to attempt to verify the correlation between the quality of emotional bonds, manifested in marital satisfaction, and the level of stress and anxiety perceived by mariners. The study encompasses 210 mariners working on seagoing ships. The following research tools were employed for the purpose of the study: State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Stress Experience Questionnaire (PS) and Well-matched Marriage Questionnaire (KDM). The results indicate that marital satisfaction is correlated with the level of stress and anxiety among mariners, constituting a stress inhibitor.