People who suffer from regular fainting spells are more likely to have accidents at work, according to a new study.
Working-age people who have a condition known as syncope are at higher risk of occupational accidents and job loss, compared to those without the condition, says research in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
Higher risk of accidents
Syncope is a sudden loss of consciousness followed by spontaneous recovery. The study found that those with the condition had a 1.4-fold increased risk of occupational accidents and a 2-fold higher risk of loss of employment.
Younger patients with syncope who were from poor socioeconomic backgrounds or had additional conditions like cardiovascular disease or depression were at an even higher risk of workplace accidents or job termination.
Anna-Karin Nume, the study’s author and a research fellow in the cardiology department at Copenhagen University, said: “The ability to feel safe at work and maintain a full-time job addresses an indirect effect and cost of syncope beyond the usual clinical parameters such as mortality and hospitalisation.
“Employment is more than a measure of performance status; besides its financial importance, it is crucial for self-esteem and quality of life.”
Returning to work after accidents
The study looked at 21,729 patients with a first-time diagnosis of syncope that required a trip to the emergency room or hospitalisation. Of those, 49.5% were employed and most returned to work within a month of hospital discharge.
Over 622 had a subsequent occupational accident and 36 involved severe injuries such as fracture, amputation, crush or internal bleeding. Accidents were most frequent among those working in manual jobs.
Date Published: May 1, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown