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Prevalence of obstructive lung disease in older Kentucky farmers. Part II: reliability of respiratory questions.

American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2007 Jun; :136
Using objective measures of previous diagnosis and spirometry, the probable asthma prevalence in the older farmer cohort for the Kentucky farm family health hazard surveillance survey (FFHHSS) was 28.6%; 13.6% report physician-diagnosis of asthma, and 21.6% have an FEV1% (forced expiratory volume) <0.80 during a screening pulmonary function test. The aim of this study is to evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of asthma symptom questions used in the FFHHSS for this cohort of older Kentucky farmers. Physician-diagnosis of asthma and low pulmonary function measurements was matched with self-reported respiratory symptom data in a cohort (n=134) of Kentucky male farmers. Specificity and sensitivity of symptom questions and demographic associations with objective indicators were calculated. Answers to respiratory symptom questions, such as wheeze without a cold or chest tightness, were not associated with objective measures of disease, such as asthma diagnosis and FEV1% decline for older Kentucky farmers. Older farmers with these objective measures of disease more frequently reported positive responses to questions on general wheeze and shortness of breath when hurried, and they evaluated their health status as good to excellent. Respiratory symptom questions typically identified as asthma predictive were not associated with objective respiratory disease for older farmers in Kentucky.
Farmers; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Health-hazards; Health-protection; Health-standards; Lung; Lung-burden; Lung-disease; Lung-disorders; Lung-function; Respiration; Respiratory-function-tests; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Respiratory-infections; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-system-disorders; Spirometry; Pulmonary-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Pulmonary-function-tests; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Surveillance-programs
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division