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Prevalence and risk factors for COPD in greenhouse farmers: a large, cross-sectional survey of 5,880 farmers from northeast China

Authors Liu S, Ren Y, Wen D, Chen Y, Chen D, Li L, Zhang X, Zhang Y, Fu S, Li Z, Xia S, Wang D, Chen H, Zhao J, Wang X

Received 14 December 2014

Accepted for publication 29 June 2015

Published 1 October 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 2097—2108


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Shuo Liu,1 Yangang Ren,1 Deliang Wen,1 Yu Chen,2 Donghong Chen,1 Liyun Li,3 Xuhua Zhang,1 Yibing Zhang,4 Shuang Fu,5 Zhenhua Li,3 Shuyue Xia,6 Dongliang Wang,7 Hong Chen,8 Jian Zhao,9 Xiaoge Wang1

1The Fourth Affiliated Hospital, 2The Second Affiliated Hospital, 3The First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University, 4The Shenyang Military General Hospital, Shenyang, 5The General Hospital of Fushun Mining Bureau, Fushun, 6Fengtian Hospital, Shenyang Medical College, 7202nd Hospital of People’s Liberation Army, Shenyang, 8The First People’s Hospital of Kazuo, Chaoyang, 9205th Hospital of People’s Liberation Army, Jinzhou, Liaoning, People’s Republic of China

Background: COPD is one of the most common chronic diseases, and more and more farmers who were frequently exposed to greenhouse environments were diagnosed with COPD. However, little information is available on the prevalence of COPD among the greenhouse farmers. This study was conducted to assess the prevalence of COPD and investigate the potential risk factors for COPD among the Chinese greenhouse farmers.
Methods: Cross-sectional studies involving a sample of greenhouse farmers living in northeast China were performed via stratified-cluster-random sampling. All subjects were interviewed using a uniform questionnaire and underwent pulmonary function tests between 2006 and 2009, based on the diagnostic criteria of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the risk factors for COPD.
Results: Of the 5,880 greenhouse farmers from northeast China who were originally selected for this study, 5,420 questionnaires were completed. The overall prevalence of COPD in greenhouse farmers was 17.5%. The COPD prevalence was significantly higher in elderly subjects (≥50 years), current smokers, in those with lower body mass index (≤18.5 kg/m2) and less education, in those who were exposed to mushroom, flowers and poultry, and in those living in mountain and coastal region. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that age over 50 years old (odds ratio [OR]=298.69, 95% confidence interval [CI]=121.57–733.84), smoking (OR=2.18, 95% CI=1.84–2.59), planting mushroom and flowers (OR=1.46 and 1.53, 95% CI=1.13–1.87 and 1.24–1.95), and living in mountain and coastal region (OR=1.68 and 1.35, 95% CI=1.37–2.06 and 1.10–1.65) were associated with the development of COPD among greenhouse farmers.
Conclusion: In northeast China, COPD is highly prevalent among greenhouse farmers, and advanced age, smoking, planting mushroom, and flowers, as well as living in mountain and coastal regions, are potential risk factors for this disease.

Keywords: COPD, epidemiology, greenhouse farmers, prevalence, risk factor

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