Influence of Occupational Factors on Lung Function in French Dairy Farmers. A 5-year Longitudinal Study

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BackgroundDairy farming is associated with a high prevalence of respiratory disorders but the respective influence of occupational exposures, environmental, and individual factors on lung function remain unclear.MethodsIn 1994 and 1999, dairy farmers were examined in the Doubs province, France. Spirometric measures and allergological tests were performed. Medical and professional data were obtained by questionnaires. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed.ResultsAn accelerated decline in lung function parameters was associated with age, male sex, traditional farm (as opposed to modern farms), and a high rate of total IgE (P < 10-2). Blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) was significantly positively linked with the modernization of the farm and negatively with age, smoking status, and log IgE (P < 10-2). Geographical factors (altitude and climatic conditions) had no significant effect.ConclusionsThe modernization of the farm has an important and beneficial impact on lung function.

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