Pulmonary function among Latino thoroughbred horse farmworkers

Background: Latino thoroughbred workers may be at risk for developing abnormal pulmonary function related to occupational exposures.
Methods: Eighty worker participants were recruited via community-based purposive sampling. Questionnaires and spirometry tests were administered by trained lay health promoters. Demographic and occupational factors were assessed for associations with respiratory outcomes via multivariable logistic regression.
Results: Twenty-seven percent of participants exhibited abnormal pulmonary function (primarily restrictive), 79% reported any respiratory symptoms, and 94% infrequently used dust masks. Shorter duration of both current horse farm employment (≤5 years) and time living in the United States (≤10 years) increased the odds of abnormal pulmonary function. Shorter time living in the United States increased the odds of upper respiratory symptoms and shorter duration of current horse farm employment increased the odds of lower respiratory symptoms.
Conclusions: Abnormal pulmonary function was high among this vulnerable worker group, suggesting the need for increased dust mask usage and further exposure assessment.

Source: Flunker, J. C., Clouser, J. M., Mannino, D., & Swanberg, J. (2017). American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 60(1), 35-44.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22667

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