Job activities and respiratory symptoms among farmworkers in North Carolina

Arch Environ Occup Health. 2011;66(3):178-82. doi: 10.1080/19338244.2010.539637.


Respiratory health is an important component of the ability to perform physically demanding work. The authors assessed respiratory symptom prevalence among Latino farmworkers engaged in crop production, and investigated work activities as risk factors for respiratory symptoms. During June to September 2008, 122 farmworkers completed up to 3 questionnaires. The authors estimated associations between work activities and wheezing symptoms using alternating logistic regression, controlling for age and smoking. At the first data collection, 29 (24%) farmworkers reported ever wheezing and 10 (8%) reported wheezing within the past month. Though not statistically significant, the odds of wheezing were elevated for individuals who reported performing tobacco-related work in the last 3 days. The odds were decreased among individuals who reported harvesting activities (odds ratio: 0.3, 95% confidence interval: 0.1, 1.0). Among Latino farmworkers, respiratory symptoms may be associated with work activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / etiology
  • Agriculture / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Sounds
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / etiology
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires