Document Type: Original Articles

Authors

1 Research Center for Health Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran;

2 Department of Occupational Health, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences,

3 Student Research Committee, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Epidemiology, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Student Research Committee, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

6 Department of Ergonomics, School of Health and Nutrition, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

AbstractBackground/Objective: This study was undertaken to addresspsychological health effects of dentists’ exposure to low ambientlevels of mercury.Methods: One hundred and six dentists and 94 generalpractitioners were randomly selected from clinics in Shiraz city,Iran. Subjects were asked to complete the Persian version ofGeneral Health Questionnaire. The data were analyzed usingχ2 test, independent sample t-test and Mann-Whitney’s U test.Results: Both groups were similar as far as all demographicvariables, except age, were concerned. No significant differencewas noted between the dentists’ mean total score of GHQ-28 (17.9)and that of referent subjects (16.34). These scores were significantlylower than the cut-off point of 23 (P<0.01). The mean scores forsomatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, and depression weresignificantly higher in dentists than in the referent subjects. Theresults also showed a significant association between GHQ-28total scores and length of exposure to mercury (P=0.034); withincrease in the job tenure, GHQ-28 total score also increased,indicating a decrement in psychological health status.Conclusion: The current findings revealed that, in general,the dentists’ psychological health status was poorer than thereferent subjects. Additionally, in all GHQ subscales, thedentists’ scores were significantly different from those of theircounterparts. Given the fact that exposure to mercury is the mostimportant differentiating variable between both groups, and thatneuropsychological disorders are the most common toxic effectof mercury, the difference between psychological health statusof the two groups is likely to be related to exposure to mercury.Please cite this article as: Choobineh AR, Neghab M, Rostami R, HassanzadehJ, Soleimani E, Daneshmandi H. The Relationship between Mercury Exposureand Psychological Health Status of Dentists. J Health Sci Surveillance Sys.2013;1(1):27-32.Keywords: Dentist; Mental health; Mercury

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