Respiratory symptoms in kitchen workers

Am J Ind Med. 2003 Apr;43(4):436-9. doi: 10.1002/ajim.10197.


Introduction: A possible association between cooking fumes and respiratory diseases other than cancer has not been studied earlier.

Methods: All employees at 67 selected kitchens were asked to answer a personal questionnaire regarding the presence of dyspnea, serious dyspnea, cough, and respiratory symptoms in connection with work. The study group consisted of 139 women and 100 men.

Results: The prevalence of dyspnea (RR = 4.1 (2.7-6.3)), serious dyspnea (RR = 2.9 (1.5-5.7)), and symptoms in connection with work (RR = 4.3 (2.7-6.7)) were statistically significantly higher for the female kitchen workers compared to the controls. For the men only dyspnea (RR = 1.8 (1.4-2.3)) and symptoms in connection with work (RR = 2.1 (1.6-2.7)) showed an increased prevalence. An analysis of possible predictors for respiratory symptoms in connection with work gave an odds ratio of 3.2 (P = 0.000) for "working in a restaurant kitchen."

Conclusions: The results of the study indicate a relationship between working in kitchens and respiratory symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cooking*
  • Dyspnea / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Respiration Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Restaurants
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace