Relation of Repeated Low-Level Blast Exposure With Symptomology Similar to Concussion

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate anecdotal reports suggesting that repeated exposure to low-level explosive blast has myriad health impacts, including an array of neurological effects.

Participants:

A total of 184 anonymous survey respondents from military and nonmilitary law enforcement populations (135 exposed to occupational blast and 49 controls).

Design:

Survey of self-reported history of occupational exposure to repeated low-level blast (breaching blast) and symptomology similar to concussion.

Results:

Findings suggest that number and severity of symptoms increase with history of chronic blast exposure (F = 18.26, P < .001) and that symptoms can interfere with daily activity (t = 2.60, P = .010).

Conclusion:

Given the prevalence of repeated exposure to blast among some military and civilian law enforcement occupations, the results of this survey study support a role for blast surveillance programs as well as continued research on health impacts of low-level repeated blast exposure.

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