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ORIGINAL PAPER
 
 

Pulmonary function impairment and airway allergy among workers in traditional bakeries

Ayman Ekram Fahim 1, 2  ,  
 
1
Department of Community Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
2
Department of Community Medicine, Occupational Health Group, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, 41522, Egypt
3
Pumonary Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2013;26(2):214–219
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Objectives: To assess the effect of exposure to flour dust on pulmonary function tests, prevalence of symptoms (respiratory, allergic/irritating) and parameters of allergic sensitization in terms of skin prick test, and bronchial hyper-responsiveness. Material and Methods: 43 bakers (with at least 2 years of occupational exposure) working at different bakeries in Ismailia city, Egypt; and 64 control subjects of comparable socio demographic characteristics were compared. All participants were subjected to an interview questionnaire, clinical chest examination, skin prick test, bronchial hyper-responsiveness test and measurements of pulmonary function parameters. Results: All respiratory and allergic symptoms were more prevalent among bakers compared to the control group, with the highest odds ratio for allergic symptoms (OR = 6.9; p < 0.0001) and dyspnea (OR = 6.3; p = 0.0004). Bakers had a higher percentage of SPT positive results with statistically significant difference between the two groups (p < 0.0001). Bakers had lower observed values compared to the control group with statistically significant difference for FVC, FEV1/FVC ratio, FEF75%, and FEF25-75% parameters. Conclusion: The present study suggested that occupational exposure to flour dust may affect respiratory irritation and sensitization, and reduce the pulmonary function tests such as FVC, FEV1, and FEV1/FVC ratio and FEF25-75%.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087