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Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia

Print version ISSN 1516-8484

Abstract

RIBAS, Valdenilson Ribeiro et al. Hematological and immunological effects of stress of air traffic controllers in northeastern Brazil. Rev. Bras. Hematol. Hemoter. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.3, pp. 195-201. ISSN 1516-8484.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5581/1516-8484.20110053.

BACKGROUND: Several studies have shown that stress and emotional reactions can affect immune responses in animals and humans. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate hematological and immunological effects of stress on air traffic controllers. METHODS: Thirty air traffic controllers and 15 aeronautical information service operators were evaluated. The groups were divided as information service operators with 10 years or more of experience (AIS>10) and with less than 10 years in the profession (AIS<10) and air traffic controllers with 10 years or more of experience (ATCo>10) and with less than 10 years in the profession (ATCo<10). Blood samples were drawn at 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The paired t-test was used to compare monocyte and nitric oxide concentrations and ANOVA was used for the other parameters. RESULTS: The ATCo>10 group presented a significantly lower phagocytosis rate of monocytes at 2:00 p.m. compared to 8:00 a.m. Moreover, the ATCo>10 group presented lower hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, platelet and leukocyte levels, and increased cortisol concentrations at 8:00 a.m. compared to the other groups. Additionally, this group had lower phagocytosis rate of monocytes, and hemoglobin, platelet, leukocyte, basophils and nitric oxide levels at 2:00 p.m. compared to the other groups. CONCLUSION: Stress seems to greatly affect immune responses of air traffic controllers with more than ten years of experience.

Keywords : Stress, physiological; Bournout, professional; Leukocytes; Immunity; Occupational health; Brazil.

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