Occupational Asthma Reference

Heibati B, Jaakkola MS, Lajunen TK, Ducatman A, Zafari Z, Yekkalam M, Karimi A, Jaakkola JJK, Occurrence of respiratory symptoms and lung function deficits among fruit and vegetable market workers, Occup Environ Med, 2021;78:262-268,http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2020-106829

Keywords: Iran, fruit, vegetable, market, symptoms, FEV1, ep, cs

Known Authors

Maritta Jaakkola, Oulu University Finland Maritta Jaakkola

Jouni Jaakkola, Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Birmingham Jouni Jaakkola

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Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the potential effects of occupational exposures among fruit and vegetable market workers on the occurrence of respiratory symptoms and on the level of lung function parameters.

Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of 140 men working as fruit and vegetable market workers (response rate 100%) and a reference group of 77 male office workers as the reference group (response rate 55%) from Shiraz, Iran. The outcomes of interest included occurrence of respiratory symptoms assessed by a standard respiratory questionnaire and lung function assessed by spirometry.

Results In Poisson regression analyses, the exposed group showed increased prevalence ratio (PR) of wheezing (adjusted PR 5.32, 95%?CI 1.40 to 20.26), after controlling for confounding. Cough (PR 3.30, 95%?CI 1.16 to 9.40) and wheezing (PR 9.40, 95%?CI 2.28 to 38.64) showed increased PRs among vegetable distributors. Forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and FEV1/forced vital capacity were significantly decreased among exposed workers after controlling for confounders. The absolute value of FEV1 level was reduced significantly among fruit and vegetable carters (-0.99, 95%?CI -1.68 to -0.32) and vegetable (-0.51, 95%?CI -0.93 to -0.10) and fruit (-0.51, 95%?CI -0.86 to -0.15) distributors in comparison with the reference group in the adjusted full model.

Conclusions This study provides evidence that fruit and vegetable market workers are at an increased risk of respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function. Workplace conditions and safety training clearly need improvement, and there is a likely role for proper use of personal protective equipment.

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