Occupational health hazards of working in the interventional laboratory: A multisite case control study of physicians and allied staff

Nicholas M. Orme, Charanjit S. Rihal, Rajiv Gulati, David R. Holmes, Ryan J. Lennon, Bradley R. Lewis, Ian R. McPhail, Kent R. Thielen, Sorin V. Pislaru, Gurpreet S. Sandhu, Mandeep Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background The occupational hazards of working in the interventional laboratory have been inadequately studied for physicians and remain unaddressed for nonphysician personnel. Objectives This study sought to determine whether the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal pain, cancer, and other medical conditions is higher among physicians and allied staff who work in interventional laboratories compared with employees who do not. Methods Mayo Clinic employees who work in affiliated hospitals with interventional cardiology or interventional radiology laboratories took an electronic survey. Results were stratified on the basis of self-reported occupational exposure to procedures that involve radiation. Results There were 1,543 employees (mean age 43 ± 11.3 years, 33% male) who responded to the survey (response rate of 57%), and 1,042 (67.5%) reported being involved with procedures utilizing radiation. These employees reported experiencing work-related pain more often than the control group before (54.7% vs. 44.7%; p < 0.001) and after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, pre-existing musculoskeletal conditions, years in profession, and job description (odds ratio: 1.67; 95% confidence interval: 1.32 to 2.11; p < 0.001). Musculoskeletal pain varied significantly by job description, with the highest incidence reported by technicians (62%) and nurses (60%) followed by attending physicians (44%) and trainees (19%; p < 0.001). There was no difference in cancer prevalence between groups (9% vs. 9%; p = 0.96). Conclusions Musculoskeletal pain is more common among healthcare workers who participate in interventional procedures and is highest in nonphysician employees. The diagnosis of cancer in employees who participate in procedures that utilize radiation was not elevated when compared to controls within the same departments, although any conclusion regarding causality is limited by the cross-sectional nature of the study, as well as the low overall prevalence of malignancy in our study group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-826
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 3 2015


  • interventional laboratory
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • radiation safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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