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Reduced lung function among sisal processors

Objectives The objective of this study was to examine lung function and chronic respiratory symptoms among sisal workers in Tanzania and compare the results with a control group. Methods A cross-sectional study on chronic respiratory symptoms and lung function was conducted in 2006 among male Tanzanian sisal processing workers from six sisal estates. Participants included 86 workers in decortication departments, 68 workers in brushing departments and 30 low exposed security guards. The response rate was 97%. Chronic respiratory symptoms and background information were obtained by structured interview. Forced ventilatory capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) were estimated before and after a work shift, and FEV1/FVC ratio calculated. Results Workers were aged 19–85, with the oldest in the brushing and security departments. Chronic cough and chest tightness were experienced by 38% and 68% of workers in brushing departments, 20% and 6% of workers in decortication and 7% and 0% of security workers, respectively. A reduced FEV1/FVC ratio related to years of work was found among workers in brushing departments when adjusting for age, smoking, previous respiratory illnesses and body mass index, using regression analyses. Work in decortication departments was not related to reduced lung function parameters. The...

Kayumba, Akwilina Victory; Moen, Bente Elisabeth; Bråtveit, Magne; Wijnand, Eduard; Mashalla, Yohana
Occupational and Environmental Medicine BMJ Publishing Group, Occupational and Environmental Medicine 68(9): 682–685
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