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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 61-66

Prevalence of respiratory disorders among primary aluminum workers, and their relation to the duration of exposure and smoking habits

1 Public Health and Community Medicine Department, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
2 Occupational and Environmental Medicine Department, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
3 Chest Department, Assiut University, Assiut, Egyp
4 Public Health and Industrial Medicine Department, Minia University, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Shimaa A Elghazally
Public Health and Industrial Medicine Department, Minia University
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2357-0121.199355

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Introduction and study methods A cross-sectional study was conducted to describe the pattern of respiratory disorders and some associated risk factors among 260 aluminum-exposed workers and 80 nonexposed workers. Data were collected by a respiratory symptoms questionnaire. Spirometry and chest radiography were performed on all participants. Results The aluminum-exposed workers suffered significantly more from chronic cough, phlegm, wheezes and breathlessness (34.2, 42.3, 42.3 and 36.9%, respectively) compared with nonexposed workers (P < 0.05). Mean values of spirometric measurements regarding FVC%, FEV1%, FEV1/FVC and PEF25–75% as percentages of predicted were significantly lower among exposed workers (84.15 ± 15.02, 88.77 ± 17.65, 106.15 ± 14.72 and 81.34 ± 29.1, respectively) compared with nonexposed workers (P < 0.05).The interpretation of chest radiographies revealed that abnormal chest rdaiographies were significantly more predominant in exposed workers than in the nonexposed group (P < 0.05). There was a significantly higher occurrence of asthma among exposed workers (8.1%) compared with nonexposed workers (1.2%), with P value 0.03. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms, abnormal ventilatory function measurements and abnormal radiographies were higher among the exposed workers who were smokers and in those with duration of exposure of more than 25 years. Conclusion The occurrence of respiratory symptoms, airway diseases, ventilatory function abnormalities and abnormal rdaiographies were higher among the exposed workers, especially those who were smokers and had a duration of exposure of more than 25 years. For prevention of these hazards, general and personal measurements must be performed, for example, engineering, personal protective equipments and more medical care for workers (pre-employment and periodic medical examinations).

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