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.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.