Wheezing in tobacco farm workers in Southern Brazil
Background Tobacco workers are exposed to several respiratory occupational sensitizers.
Methods A representative cross-sectional study was carried out on 2469 tobacco family farming growers. Gender-stratified multivariate analyses evaluated the association between wheezing and socio-demographic, behavioral, and occupational variables.
Results Wheezing prevalence was 11.0% with no difference between genders. Among men, age, smoking, strenuous work, pesticide use, contact with vegetable dust and dried tobacco dust, lifting sticks with tobacco leaves to the curing barns, and green tobacco sickness (GTS) were risk factors for wheezing. Among women, family history of asthma, tying hands of tobacco, strenuous work, contact with chemical disinfectants, and GTS were positively associated with wheezing. Harvesting lower tobacco leaves was a protective factor for the outcome in both genders.
Conclusions Pesticides, dusts exposure, and GTS were risk factors for wheezing.