Respiratory symptoms and functions in barn workers
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Düzce University, Medical Faculty, Department of Chest Diseases, Düzce, Turkey
Düzce University, Medical Faculty, Department of Microbiology, Düzce, Turkey
Düzce University, Medical Faculty, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Düzce, Turkey
Ege Gulec Balbay   

Düzce University, Medical Faculty, Department of Chest Diseases, Düzce, Turkey
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(1):25–28
Introduction and aim:
The presented study was undertaken to investigate the respiratory health problems in family barns with one or more cows and at least one family member working in the barn.

150 workers (128 female, 22 male) from 4 villages of Yığılca district near the city of Düzce in north-west Turkey were enrolled in this study between October – December 2011. An Occupational and Environmental Chest Diseases questionnaire developed by the American Thoracic Society, pulmonary function test, physical examination and investigation for nasal eosinophil were performed in all subjects.

The mean age of workers was 47.7 ± 14.2 years. Cough was present in 24% of subjects. The rates of phlegm, wheezing, chest tightness and dyspnea were 13.3%, 6%, 6% and 27.3%, respectively. Obstructive ventilatory pattern was observed in 37 workers (24.6%). 43 workers (28.6%) showed restrictive ventilatory pattern. Nasal eosinophilia was detected in 47.3% (71/150) of the subjects. Pulmonary functions of workers with nasal eosinophilia did not differ from the other workers. There were statistically significant negative correlations between the duration of working in barns and respiratory functions.

Pulmonary functions of barn workers have been found to be decreased related to the duration of barn working. Furthermore, respiratory symptoms increased in relation with both barn working and biomass consumption. Precautions should therefore be taken to ventilate both barns and houses.

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