Abstracts of Papers Presented at the 2019 AGM and Scientific Conference of NMA, Rivers State Branch
EVALUATION OF RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS AND LUNG FUNCTION IN APPARENTLY HEALTHY WOOD DUST EXPOSED WORKERS IN PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA
Datonye Dennis Alasia*, Pedro Chimezie Emem-Chioma
*Correspondence: Dr Datonye Alasia; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
BACKGROUND: The burden of non-communicable respiratory diseases is rising globally, with environmental and occupational pollutants playing a significant role. Workers exposed to wood dusts are at risk of respiratory disease. The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of respiratory symptoms and lung function in sawmill workers in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross sectional comparative descriptive study of sawmill workers from 3 sites in Port Harcourt, selected by multistage and stratified sampling compared to controls in non-risk occupations was done. Demographic, anthropometric, respiratory symptoms and spirometry assessment of subjects was done. Subjects with a history of smoking, asthma, pneumonia and already established respiratory diseases were excluded from the study.
RESULTS: Respiratory symptoms were significantly more prevalent in the 105 sawmill workers compared to 60 controls, with a significant risk and odds ratio. The most prevalent symptoms in subjects were Catarrh 45.7%, Chest Pain 39.0%, Cough 31.4%, Breathlessness 28.6%, Wheezing 25.7%, Sputum Production 23.8% and Fast Breathing 22.9%. The FEV1 was significantly lower in subjects compared to controls 2.70±0.77L vs 3.11±0.44L, p= <0.001. Other lung function parameters were not significantly different.
Conclusion: Respiratory symptoms and reduction in FEV1 are prevalent among saw mill workers in Port Harcourt Nigeria. With significant environmental air pollution from soot it is important for workers at risk of occupational lung disease and regulatory authorities to implement preventive action.
KEYWORDS: Wood Dust; Respiratory Disease; Lung Function; Nigeria.
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