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Heat stress causes physiological changes, and changes in hematological parameters and hormonal levels in the human body, known as thermal strain. This study was conducted to determine the effect of exposure to heat stress on hematological parameters and oxidative stress in the bakers of Shahroud City, Iran. A total of 163 bakery workers (exposed group) and 135 office workers (unexposed group) with a minimum of 1-year working experience were selected. Exposure to heat stress was measured using ISO-7243 criteria on the hottest days of the year (late July and August). Wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) was calculated based on indoor environments. Oxidative stress indices including malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in the bakers' and office workers' serum and hematological parameters were measured. Statistical analysis was done through independent -test, and multivariate linear regression using SPSS v24. Analysis of hematological parameters showed that about 70% and 68% of the bakers had abnormal mean cell volume (MCV) and white blood cell (WBC) count, respectively, while only around 12% of them had abnormal mean cell hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). The counts of red blood cells (RBC), WBC, lymphocytes (LYM), and MCV showed significant differences in different occupational groups ( < 0.05). The levels of MDA and NO were significantly higher in bakers with WBGT more than the threshold value ( < 0.05). The WBGT index for assessing heat stress can be used as a predictor variable for MDA and NO levels. In addition, heat stress exposure could be a risk factor for abnormal WBC, RBC, LYM, and MCV.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Toxicology and industrial health
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