Cognitive Functioning and Nail Salon Occupational Exposure among Vietnamese Immigrant Women in Northern California

Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Shuai Chen, Keith Chan, Mai Tram Nguyen, Ladson Hinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Vietnamese nail salon technicians are continuously exposed to neurotoxins linked to cognitive impairments and Alzheimer’s disease. This study examined the association of occupational exposure with cognitive function and depressive symptoms among Vietnamese nail salon technicians. Methods: The sample included 155 current or former Vietnamese female nail technicians and 145 control group participants. Measures included the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: Average cognitive functioning was significantly higher for the control compared to the nail technician group (mean difference = 1.2, p < 0.05). No differences were observed for depression. Multivariate findings revealed that exposure was negatively associated with cognitive functioning (β = −0.29, 95% CI: −0.53, −0.05, p < 0.05). Discussion: Nail salon work and the extent of occupational exposure were associated with lower cognitive functioning among Vietnamese nail technicians. Longitudinal research can further examine the risk for cognitive decline and dementia for this vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4634
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Alzheimer’s disease factors
  • cognitive functioning
  • exposure
  • occupational hazards
  • Vietnamese Americans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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