Advertisement

The Prevalence of Self-Reported Respiratory Symptoms and Related Diseases in Different Agricultural Sectors: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Survey in Finland

  • Eetu N. SuominenEmail author
  • Tuula M. Putus
Chapter
  • 107 Downloads
Part of the Studies in Systems, Decision and Control book series (SSDC, volume 277)

Abstract

Respiratory diseases and symptoms are well-recognized occupational problems among farmers. Our objective was to compare the current prevalence and occurrence trends of respiratory symptoms and disorders between different Finnish agricultural sectors and to, more specifically, determine the risk factors leading to the development of the symptoms. A questionnaire was e-mailed randomly to 10,000 members of The Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution in Finland. The response rate was 25.1%. Farmers working with animals reported more respiratory symptoms than farmers working in haying, crop farming or forestry. Organic dust exposure was associated significantly with a higher prevalence of wheezing, asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic alveolitis. Chronic bronchitis was associated with exposure to cattle, animal excrement, organic dust and fodder exposure. The prevalence of asthma was equal compared to the general population. The sectors of farming associated with an elevated prevalence of respiratory symptoms in Finland include dairy, beef and pig farming. The trend in the increase of asthma among farmers seems to follow the development of asthma in the general population. These results remind that respiratory protection should be considered especially during exposure to agricultural organic dusts and microbes.

Keywords

Agriculture Occupational exposure Respiratory illness 

References

  1. 1.
    Niemi, J., Ahlstedt, J.: Suomen Maatalous ja Maaseutuelinkeinot, 2nd edn. Luke, Finland (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Schuijs, M.J., Willart, M.A., Vergote, K., et al.: Farm dust and endotoxin protect against allergy through A20 induction in lung epithelial cells. Science 349(6252), 1106–1110 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thelin, A.: Work and health among farmers. Scand. J Soc. Med. (Suppl. 22) (1980)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Nordgren, T.M., Charavaryamath, C.: Agriculture occupational exposures and factors affecting health effects. Curr. Allergy Asthma Rep. 18(12), 65 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Radon, K., Opravil, U., Hartung, J., et al.: Work-related respiratory disorders and farming characteristics among cattle farmers in Northern Germany. Am. J. Ind. Med. 36(4), 444–449 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Skórska, C., Mackiewicz, B., Dutkiewicz, J., et al.: Effects of exposure to grain dust in Polish farmers: work-related symptoms and immunologic response to microbial antigens associated with dust. Ann. Agric. Environ. Med. 5, 147–154 (1998)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Heller, R., Kelson, M.: Respiratory disease mortality in agricultural workers in eight member countries of the European Community. Int. J. Epidemiol. 11(2), 170–174 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Toren, K., Horte, L.G., Jarvholm, B.: Occupation and smoking adjusted mortality due to asthma among Swedish men. Br. J. Ind. Med. 48(5), 323–326 (1991)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Vohlonen, I., Husman, K., Kalimo, E., Nuutinen, J., Raitasalo, R., Tupi, K. et al.: Viljelijöiden työ ja ter-veys. A:1. Kansaneläkelaitoksen Julkaisuja, Helsinki (1979)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Susitaival, P., Husman, T.: Tuohilampi-Questionnaire for Population Studies of Hypersensitivity Diseases of Respiratory Organs, Skin and Eyes. Orion, Kuopio (1996)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Redlich, C.A., Sparer, J., Cullen, M.R.: Sick-building syndrome. Lancet 349(9057), 1013–1016 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cherry, N., Beach, J., Senthilselvan, A., et al.: Pesticide use and Asthma in Alberta grain farmers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 15(3), 526 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Reijula, K., Sundman-Digert, C.: Assessment of indoor air problems at work with a questionnaire. Occup. Environ. Med. 61(1), 33–38 (2004)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Radon, K., Danuser, B., Iversen, M., et al.: Respiratory symptoms in European animal farmers. Eur. Respir. J. 17(4), 747–754 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Zejda, J.E., Hurst, T.S., Rhodes, C.S., et al.: Respiratory health of swine producers: focus on young workers. Chest 103(3), 702–709 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Iversen, M., Dahl, R., Korsgaard, J., et al.: Respiratory symptoms in Danish farmers: an epidemiological study of risk factors. Thorax 43(11), 872–877 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Larsson, K.A., Eklund, A.G., Hansson, L.O., et al.: Swine dust causes intense airways inflammation in healthy subjects. Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 150(4), 973–977 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kimbell-Dunn, M., Bradshaw, L., Slater, T., et al.: Asthma and allergy in New Zealand farmers. Am. J. Ind. Med. 35(1), 51–57 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kogevinas, M., Antó, J.M., Sunyer, J., et al.: Occupational asthma in Europe and other industrialised areas: a population-based study. Lancet 353(9166), 1750–1754 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Braun-Fahrlander, C., Gassner, M., Grize, L., et al.: Prevalence of hay fever and allergic sensitization in farmer’s children and their peers living in the same rural community. SCARPOL team. Swiss Study on Childhood Allergy and Respiratory Symptoms with Respect to Air Pollution. Clin Exp Allergy 29(1), 28–34 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Portengen, L., Sigsgaard, T., Omland, Ø., et al.: Low prevalence of atopy in young Danish farmers and farming students born and raised on a farm. Clin. Exp. Allergy 32(2), 247–253 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Heinonen, O.P., Horsmanheimo, M., Vohlonen, I., et al.: Prevalence of allergic symptoms in rural and urban populations. Eur. J. Respir. Dis. Suppl. 152, 64–69 (1987)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Terho, E.O.: Work-related respiratory disorders among finnish farmers. Am. J. Ind. Med. 18(3), 269–272 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hedman, J., Kaprio, J., Poussa, T., et al.: Prevalence of asthma, aspirin intolerance, nasal polyposis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a population-based study. Int. J. Epidemiol. 28(4), 717–722 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jousilahti, P., Haahtela, T., Laatikainen, T., et al.: Asthma and respiratory allergy prevalence is still increasing among Finnish young adults. Eur. Respir. J. 47(3), 985–987 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Eduard, W., Douwes, J., Omenaas, E., et al.: Do farming exposures cause or prevent asthma? Results from a study of adult Norwegian farmers. Thorax 59(5), 381–386 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Danuser, B., Weber, C., KuÈnzli, N., et al.: Respiratory symptoms in Swiss farmers: an epidemiological study of risk factors. Am. J. Ind. Med. 39(4), 410–418 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Costabel, U., Bonella, F., Guzman, J.: Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Clin. Chest Med. 33(1), 151–163 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Definition and classification of chronic bronchitis for clinical and epidemiological purposes. A report to the Medical Research Council by their Committee on the aetiology of chronic bronchitis. Lancet 285(1), 775–779 (1965)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Guillien, A., Soumagne, T., Dalphin, J., et al.: COPD, airflow limitation and chronic bronchitis in farmers: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Occup. Environ. Med. 76(1), 58–68 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Environmental HealthUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

Personalised recommendations