PURPOSE: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to asses the presence of clinical and functional respiratory conditions in Romanian smoker and non-smoker dairy farmers.
METHODS: We investigated 164 subjects (38,42% males, 61,58% females) from a rural alpine region of Romania. We applied a standardized questionnaire derived from NHANES III Questionnaire, administered by medical staff and we also performed spirometry (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC, PEF, MEF50).
RESULTS: General smoking prevalence was 31,1% (14,02% current smokers, 17,08% ex-smokers). Prevalence was much higher in males (55,55%), than in females (15,84%). The average level of tobacco consume was moderate (16,33 cigarettes/day) and the mean age for smoking onset was 20,5years and 46,7years for smoking cessation. Smoking cessation reason was health in 85,7%, family in 7,14% and other in 7,14%. We didn’t find any significant differences between smokers and non-smokers regarding the age (54,47 years for non-smokers and 56,21 years for smokers), level of education or marital status. The prevalence of chronic bronchitis (23,52%) and wheeze (25,49%) were higher among smokers, than in non-smokers (8,84% and 17,69%). We found a high prevalence of dyspnea in both groups (50,9% for smokers and 68% for non-smokers), probably due to age and associated diseases. OAD had a significant higher prevalence in smokers (43,13%), than in non-smokers (28,31%).
CONCLUSION: These results show that smoking is much more common in men than in women in rural regions of Romania and that the prevalence for chronic bronchitis, wheeze and OAD are higher in smokers than in non-smokers in the same occupational exposure pattern.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Smoking cessation programs, gender orientated, must be implemented in this remote areas, where there is an important occupational exposure to respiratory irritants and sensitizers due to farming activities. An active medical surveillance program, similar to those in industry, it would be necessary to introduce in agricultural occupations.
DISCLOSURE: Armand Rajnoveanu, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information