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Am J Ind Med. 1994 Feb;25(2):165-76.

Prevalence of depression among electrical workers.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7400.


To address the possible association between electric and magnetic field exposure and depression, we analyzed data from the Vietnam Experience Study. In order to compare the risk of diagnosed depression, depressive symptoms, and elevations in personality scales indicative of depression, we classified employed participants as electrical workers (N = 183) and nonelectrical workers (N = 3,861) and compared their scores on the Diagnostic Interview Survey (DIS) and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Electrical workers in the aggregate showed little evidence of increased risk, with the possible exception of an increase in elevated MMPI depression scores among short-term workers. Data on electricians yielded indications of increased risk for several markers of depression. Despite the limited number of electrical workers, uncertainty regarding exposure, and our inability to address other workplace exposures, these results suggest that electrical workers in general are not at increased risk for depression. However, our results encourage further evaluation of depression among electricians.

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