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Reduced FVC among California grape workers.

Gamsky-TE; McCurdy-SA; Samuels-SJ; Schenker-MB
Am Rev Respir Dis 1992 Feb; 145(2)(Pt 1):257-262
A study of pulmonary function in California grape workers was conducted. The cohort consisted of 238 grape workers in the Central Valley of California, 59% of whom were male, median age 32 years. The comparisons consisted of 166 citrus workers, median age 24 years, and 355 tomato workers, median age 27 years. The percentage of males in the two groups was 84 and 89%, respectively. The subjects were interviewed by questionnaire to obtain information on biodemographic characteristics, smoking, and exposures specific to farm workers. Pulmonary function testing was performed. The data were analyzed by multiple logistic regression techniques. More than 97% of the total population was Hispanic. The prevalence of smoking was higher in males and older workers, but did not differ significantly by crop. Fifty four to 57% of the total population were never smokers and 15 to 18% were exsmokers. The median number of years spent in agricultural work ranged from 8 for the citrus workers to 11 for the grape workers. Decrements in forced vital capacity (FVC), 1 second forced expiratory volume (FEV1), and midexpiratory flow (FEF25/75) were significantly greater in heavy smokers compared to never smokers in all groups. Preshift FVCs were significantly decreased in the grape workers relative to the other groups after controlling for age, sex, and smoking. The decreases were several hundred milliliters (ml) for males 25 years and older and less than 100ml for younger males and females. FEF25/75s and FEV1/FVC ratios were significantly higher in the grape workers than in the tomato and citrus workers. Significant over shift decreases in FVC were measured in the grape workers compared to the other groups. By sex, the over shift FVC decrements in the citrus workers averaged 149ml for male workers and 74ml for females. Over shift changes in FEV1 and FEF25/75 did not differ significantly from those of the tomato and citrus workers. The authors conclude that grape workers in California experience decrements in FVC that could be related to crop specific exposures, possibly silica (14808607) or other inorganic dusts.
Agricultural-workers; Epidemiology; Pulmonary-function-tests; Demographic-characteristics; Questionnaires; Seasonal-activity; Cigarette-smoking; Sex-factors
Marc B. Schenker, M.D., M.P.H., Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, I.T.E.H. University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8648
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Journal Article
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Cooperative Agreement
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American Review of Respiratory Disease
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University of California - Davis