Neurological symptoms of the sick building syndrome: Analysis of a questionnaire

Antonietta Citterio, Elena Sinforiani, Annapia Verri, Silvano Cristina, Emanuela Gerosa, Giuseppe Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sick building syndrome (SBS) is an excess of work-related irritations of the skin and mucous membranes and of symptoms such as headache and fatigue in those working in modern air-conditioned buildings. We aimed to analyse the neurological symptoms, especially headache, in workers with potential SBS. The most frequent symptoms were headache and dry eyes. Sex was a major factor of difference: women report more symptoms than men. A positive correlation emerged between the number of symptoms and the asthenia scale score: Only 11 (8.2% of the whole sample) and 37 (27.4%) workers met all the IHS criteria for migraine and tension-type headache respectively. At least one symptom of SBS was present in 92.6% of workers. A negative correlation emerges between air conditioning and headache during working hours. No correlation emerges between the workplace comfort indicator and SBS and asthenic symptoms while a negative correlation was found between migraine and tension-type headache and comfort in the workplace. SBS symptoms are very frequent among all workers but headache is the primary symptom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998


  • Headache
  • Psychophysiological disorders
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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