Background: Occupational exposure to welding fumes is a serious occupational health problem all over the world. Welders are exposed to many occupational hazards; these hazards might cause some occupational diseases. The aim of the study was to assess the health related quality of life (HRQL) of electric welders in Shanghai China and explore influencing factors to HRQL of welders. Methods: 301 male welders (without pneumoconiosis) and 305 non-dust male workers in Shanghai were enrolled in this study. Short Form-36 (SF-36) health survey questionnaires were applied in this cross-sectional study. Socio-demographic, working and health factors were also collected. Multiple stepwise regress analysis was used to identify significant factors related to the eight dimension scores. Results: Six dimensions including role-physical (RP), bodily pain (BP), general health (GH), validity (VT), social function (SF), and mental health (MH) were significantly worse in welders compared to non-dust workers. Multiple stepwise regress analysis results show that native place, monthly income, quantity of children, drinking, sleep time, welding type, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), great events in life, and some symptoms including dizziness, discomfort of cervical vertebra, low back pain, cough and insomnia may be influencing factors for HRQL of welders. Among these factors, only sleep time and the use of PPE were salutary. Conclusions: Some dimensions of HRQL of these welders have been affected. Enterprises which employ welders should take measures to protect the health of these people and improve their HRQL. © 2014 Qin et al.
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