Nav: Home

Urine test for fatigue could help prevent accidents

November 30, 2016

Doctors, pilots, air traffic controllers and bus drivers have at least one thing in common -- if they're exhausted at work, they could be putting lives at risk. But the development of a new urine test, reported in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, could help monitor just how weary they are. The results could potentially reduce fatigue-related mistakes by allowing workers to recognize when they should take a break.

The effects of fatigue have long been recognized and studied as a problem in the transportation and healthcare industries. In the early 2000s, studies published in scientific journals reported that fatigue-related mistakes were linked to thousands of vehicular crashes every year, and were a major concern in patient safety. Weariness can cause anyone on or off the job to lose motivation and focus, and become drowsy. Although very common, these symptoms come with biochemical changes that are not well understood. Zhenling Chen, Xianfa Xu and colleagues set out to determine whether a urine test could detect these changes.

The researchers analyzed urine samples from dozens of air traffic controllers working in civil aviation before and after an 8-hour shift on the job. Out of the thousands of metabolites detected, the study identified three that could serve as indicators of fatigue. Further work is needed to validate what they found, the researchers say, but their initial results represent a new way to investigate and monitor fatigue -- and help prevent worn-out workers from making potentially dangerous errors.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The abstract that accompanies this study is available here.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.Follow us: TwitterFacebook

American Chemical Society

Related Fatigue Articles:

Biomarkers link fatigue in cancer, Parkinson's
Biological markers responsible for extreme exhaustion in patients with cancer have now been linked to fatigue in those with Parkinson's disease, according to new research from Rice University.
Fatigue is a common but underestimated symptom of endometriosis
Two papers published in Human Reproduction journal show that the prevalence of fatigue is more than doubled in women with endometriosis but is underestimated, meaning that doctors should be making greater efforts to discuss and treat this debilitating symptom in these women, and that a history of some types of child abuse is linked to an increased likelihood of endometriosis in adulthood.
New 3-D display takes the eye fatigue out of virtual reality
A new type of 3-D display could solve the long-standing problem eye fatigue when using VR and AR equipment by greatly improving the viewing comfort of these wearable devices.
Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to imbalanced microbiome
Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have discovered abnormal levels of specific gut bacteria related to chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS, in patients with and without concurrent irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
Conquering metal fatigue
Researchers have found a way to greatly reduce the effects of fatigue in steel by incorporating a laminated nanostructure into the material.
Anakinra does not seem to improve fatigue severity in women with chronic fatigue syndrome
The anti-inflammatory biologic drug anakinra does not seem to reduce fatigue severity in women with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Reducing cancer-related fatigue
A new article published online by JAMA Oncology analyzed which of four commonly recommended treatments -- exercise, psychological, the combination of both, or pharmaceutical -- for cancer-related fatigue appeared to be most effective.
Urine test for fatigue could help prevent accidents
Doctors, pilots, air traffic controllers and bus drivers have at least one thing in common -- if they're exhausted at work, they could be putting lives at risk.
Genetic cause for shift work fatigue discovered
Some people adapt easily to shift work, but not everyone can handle constant disruptions to their daily rhythm.
Management of fatigue and sleep in chronic illness
The College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently was awarded a five-year, $1.23 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to create a new center where scientists will develop technologies to help people with chronic illness manage fatigue and impaired sleep.
More Fatigue News and Fatigue Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.