Varicose veins in hairdressers and associated risk factors: a cross-sectional study.BMC Public Health. 2014 Aug 28; 14:885.BP
Varicose veins (VV) cause not only cosmetic problems but also clinical symptoms such as pain of the affected limbs. Whereas an occupation associated with orthostasis has been recognized as a risk factor of VV, epidemiological studies on working populations are limited. We conducted a study to identify the risk factors of lower limb VV among hairdressers in Taiwan and evaluate their effects, with a focus on long-term standing at work.
We recruited participants from members of a hairdressers union in southern Taiwan and conducted a questionnaire survey. Data on demographic characteristics, body weight and height, work history, medical history, and other potential related factors were collected from each participant.
A total of 182 hairdressers participated in the survey, and 44 (24.2%) had lower limb VV. Uni-variate analyses showed that hairdressers with lower limb VV tended to be older (49.3 vs. 44.7 years, p = 0.032), have a family history of VV (25.6% vs. 9.9%, p = 0.011), doing housework in standing position (86.4% vs. 71.0% , p = 0.042), have a longer work history (30.5 vs. 24.0 years, p = 0.005), and stand longer at work (213.9 vs. 176.0 hour/month, p = 0.008). In multivariate analysis, in hairdressers ≤ 45 years old, the only significant risk factor was a family history of VV (odds ratio [OR] = 11.9, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.1-133.5). In hairdressers > 45 years old, the risk factors included standing working for > 260 hours per month (OR = 31.8, 95% CI = 1.8-566.5) and working as a hairdresser for > 30 years (for 31-42 years, OR = 10.9, 95% CI = 1.6-73.8; for ≥ 43 years, OR = 12.0, 95% CI = 1.6-88.5).
In hairdressers ≤ 45 years old, family history of VV is a major risk factor for developing lower limb VV, while in those who are > 45 years old, the effects of occupational risk factors are more prominent.