2013 Environment and Health - Basel
Psychological burdens on developing process of idiopathic environmental intolerance among patients
Background: So-called “multiple chemical sensitivity” may be an issue of environmental medicine. Patients with the disease complain various symptoms and limit their lives. However, WHO-IPCS applies the name of idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) to the disease owing to indistinctness of contribution of chemicals. In our experiences in out-patient clinic, patients with IEI are understandable through psychiatric diseases including PTSDor the results of psychological factors, but not based on toxicological standpoints. Aim: In the present study, we aimed to clarify the correlation of psychological factors on developing of IEI among patients with IEI.
Methods: In the first medicalvisit patients of to our out-patient clinic from April 2009 to January 2013. 42 patients (7 men and 35 women) compatible with standard of “1999 Consensus of Environmental Medicine in USA” were included. Their age of the developing of IEI ranged from 23 to 76 (51.1±13.7) years. We obtained detailed medical history including exposure to chemicals (including odour levels) and psychological burden factors (PB) for the patients before the development. Results: Eleven patients were exposed to chemicals sufficient to induce toxicologically significant symptoms (Ex), 19 patients to odour levels (Od) and 12 with unclear exposure (Un). The number of patients with PB were 31, without 8 and unclear 3. PBs were as follows: health issues of her/himself, close relative or close friend (n=11), stress in workplace (n=8), conflict with close relative (n=7), close leave or loss of relative or close friend (n=4) and others. The rate of PB (+) patients in Od (n=16) was significantly higher than that of PB (+) in Ex (n=5) [Fisher’s exact test, p=0.0419], and that in Un (n=10) was more than that in Ex [p=0.0894], but not significant.
Conclusions: The results suggested that psychological burden may be an important factor in developing process of IEI.