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Rural health study: a comparison of hospital experience between farmers and nonfarmers in a rural area of Minnesota.

Burkart JA; Egleston CF; Voss RJ
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 78-184, 1978 Jul; :1-91
A survey of hospital records and questionnaires was used to compare the overall health of persons with agricultural and other backgrounds in rural Minnesota. Records of about 16000 hospital discharge cases processed between 1976 and 1977 at six rural hospitals were analyzed. Questionnaires were also administered to patients to obtain data on occupational and smoking history. This information, combined with United States census data, was used to compute relative risks for the health problems reported. Patients with an agricultural background were slightly healthier than patients with no agricultural history when overall morbidity was considered. However, several health problems showed increased risks among farm workers of both sexes: diseases of the gall bladder; diseases of the blood and blood forming organs; osteoarthritis and related conditions; hernia of the abdominal cavity; diseases of the veins, lymphatics, and other circulatory diseases; and diseases of the eye. Male farm workers showed increased risks for benign prostatic hypertrophy. Female farm workers showed increased risks for uterovaginal prolapse, acute myocardial infarction, diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, and neoplasms. Females over 65 years of age with 20 or more years of agricultural exposure exhibited the largest number of increased risks and were the only agricultural workers whose overall health was worse than the corresponding nonagricultural group. Data on smoking history showed evidence of a relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, ulcers, and several circulatory and respiratory problems. The authors conclude that observations concerning smoking and disease corroborate national findings. This suggests that the data collection and analysis procedures for the study have some validity and utility in the assessment of health problems.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-76-0153; Urinalysis; Occupational-health; Medical-research; Blood-plasma; Biochemical-analysis; Biological-monitoring; Safety-research; Lymphatic-system-disorders
Publication Date
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Numbered Publication; Contract-210-76-0153
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 78-184; Contract-210-76-0153
NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division