Effect of welding fume on heart rate variability among workers with respirators in a shipyard

Bor Cheng Han, I. Jung Liu, Hsiao Chi Chuang, Chih Hong Pan, Kai Jen Chuang

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Welding fume exposure is associated with heart rate variability (HRV) reduction. It is still unknown whether respirator can reduce effect of welding fume on HRV among welding workers in a shipyard. We recruited 68 welding workers with respirator and 52 welding workers without respirator to measure HRV indices, including standard deviation of normal-to-normal intervals (SDNN) and square root of the mean squared differences of successive intervals (r-MSSD) by ambulatory electrocardiographic (ECG). Personal exposure to particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 μm in diameter (PM 2.5) was measured by a dust monitor. The association between 5-minute mean PM 2.5 and log 10 -transformed HRV indices was analyzed by mixed-effects models. We found 5-minute mean PM 2.5 was associated with 8.9% and 10.3% decreases in SDNN and r-MSSD. Effect of PM 2.5 on HRV indices was greatest among workers without respirator {SDNN: 12.4% (95% confidence interval = -18.8-6.9); r-MSSD: 14.7% (95% confidence interval = -20.8-8.6)}. Workers with respirator showed slight decreases in HRV indices {SDNN: 2.2% (95% confidence interval = -6.3-1.9); r-MSSD: 4.0% (95% confidence interval = -6.4-1.6)}. We conclude that respirator use reduces the effect of PM 2.5 exposure on HRV among workers performing welding in a shipyard.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34158
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - Sep 28 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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