ORIGINAL ARTICLES

AAEM

Ann Agric Environ Med 2001, 8, 261-267

ATOPY, ALLERGIC DISEASES AND WORK-RELATED SYMPTOMS AMONG STUDENTS
OF AGRICULTURAL SCHOOLS: FIRST RESULTS OF THE LUBLIN STUDY

Radoslaw Spiewak1, Anna Gora1, Andrzej Horoch1,2, Jacek Dutkiewicz1

1Department of Occupational Biohazards, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin, Poland
2Laryngology Clinic, Medical Academy, Lublin, Poland

Full text available in Adobe Acrobat format.Full text available in Adobe Acrobat Format

AAEM Home Page

Spiewak R, Gora A, Horoch A, Dutkiewicz J: Atopy, allergic diseases and work-related symptoms among students of agricultural schools: first results of the Lublin study. Ann Agric Environ Med 2001, 8, 261-267.

Abstract: 136 eastern-Polish farming students (51 females and 85 males, aged 16-23 years) underwent clinical examination, skin prick tests with common and farm-specific allergens, total IgE measurement and Phadiatop test. Atopy was found in 35.3% (95% CI: 27.3-43.3%) of students. For allergic skin diseases, the point prevalence was 5.9%, the lifetime prevalence 28.7%; for allergic rhinitis 12.7% and 16.4%; for asthma 2.2% and 8.8% respectively. 56 students (41.2%) complained of work-related symptoms; most often of pruritus (30.9%), erythema of the skin (16.9%), sneezing (16.2%), rhinorrhea (15.4%), cough (9.6%) and dyspnea (8.1%). The students reported as causative factors of work-related symptoms: grain dust (71.4% of the 56 symptomatic students), hay dust (57.1%), straw dust (17.9%), green parts of plants (5.4%), fertilisers, diesel fuel and farm animals (3.6% each). Prick tests were positive in 30.9% of students, most frequently to Lepidoglyphus destructor (18.4% of all students), Tyrophagus putrescentiae (15.4%), Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (14.0%), Acarus siro (13.2%) and weed pollens (5.1%). The only statistically significant difference between males and females found in the study was that in the lifetime prevalence of allergic skin diseases (males 17.6% versus females 47.1%, p<0.001). Students reporting work-related symptoms had significantly more present and past allergic skin diseases and allergic rhinitis (for each feature p<0.01), and past obstructive lung disease (p=0.001). In 12 farming students (8.8%, 95% CI: 4.1-13.6%), employment as a farmer was strongly contraindicated due to health status.

Address for correspondence: Dr med. Radoslaw Spiewak, Instytut Medycyny Wsi, ul. Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090 Lublin, Poland. E-mail: spiewak@galen.imw.lublin.pl

Key words:young farmers, farming students, atopy, allergic diseases, work-related symptoms, occupational disease risk factors, cross-sectional study, epidemiology, eastern Poland, Lublin Study


Back to the Table of Contents