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Risk factors of work-related diseases - methods of evaluation and prevention

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Joint research on work-related diseases

Cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases are major health problems in both western and developing countries. A European initiative enhanced research activities on risk factors of work-related diseases of the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.

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The 'Risk factors of work-related diseases - methods of evaluation and prevention' (REWARD) project was primarily aimed at enabling joint research by setting up a consortium of specialised centres (including those in developing countries). The project scope included studies from the experimental to the epidemiological and included pathomechanisms and population research to find occupational factors in different countries. Project work was divided into three scientific work packages. The first involved analysis of the influence of occupational factors on neurovegetative regulation and cardiovascular diseases. The second covered epidemiological methods for analysing the relationship between occupational and environmental factors and cardiovascular diseases. The last focused on occupational risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders. Partners completed all planned tasks for these programmes. Researchers also took part in training, with exchanges between Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Partners presented their research and the achievements of their universities or institutions at a kick-off meeting at the 5th International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases (Krakow, Poland 2009). Study results were presented at a mid-term meeting during the 14th Congress of the International Society for Holter and Noninvasive Electrocardiology (ISHNE) (Moscow, Russia 2011). A final meeting took place during the REWARD Conference in Lodz, Poland (2012). Pilot studies covered topics related to preparing methods for common studies and performing examinations. A third group of studies concerned the analysis of physiological data for mathematical models related to heart rate variability during different physical activities. Knowledge and know-how transfer on risk factors of work-related diseases have increased the potential for establishing joint research projects. They have also proved helpful in preparing proposals for studies funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and Horizon 2020 (nowadays). REWARD's consortium is now able to perform extensive, multi-centre interdisciplinary research investigating links between the work setting and musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, project outcomes will enable research on other aspects of the health problems of working populations.


Work-related diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, risk factors, cardiovascular diseases

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