Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as Measured by FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC Ratio among Saw Mill Workers in Jos, Northern Nigeria
The lung is organ most affected by occupation-related toxin inhalation after the skin. Exposure to wood dust is associated with serious health hazards, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and severity of COPD among saw mill workers in an urban metropolis in North central Nigeria.
In this case-control study, we compared the prevalence of COPD amongst 200 healthy adults and 200 workers employed at four saw mills in Jos, North central Nigeria. In both subjects and control groups, we assessed ventilatory function using a vitalograph spirometer to measure FEV1, FVC, and FEV1/FVC ratio.
Amongst the control group, various respiratory symptoms were prevalent in 0¬2% of subjects, while impaired FEV1 and FVC values suggestive of an obstructive ventilatory defect was detected in 1%. Amongst study subjects, respiratory symptoms were prevalent in 22-80%, while impaired FEV1 and FVC values was detected in 40%, of whom 35% had an obstructive defect and 5% had a restrictive defect.
Respiratory symptoms and COPD are prevalent among saw mill workers in Northern Nigeria, where exposure to saw dust can be reduced by improved working conditions and better public awareness.
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