207812 Farmwork-Related-Injuries in a Cohort of Older Farmers in Kentucky and South Carolina

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jennifer Marcum, MS , Center on Aging, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Dr. Steven R Browning, PhD , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Deborah Reed, RN, PhD , College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Background: Farmers are at increased risk for work-related nonfatal injuries in comparison to all occupations except for mining. There is limited research on injury risk factors in older farmers; the average age of the principle operator is 57 and 57% of all principle operators are older than 55. Additionally, few studies have reported gender and race-specific injury rates in this age group.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered by telephone and mail surveys four times between 2002 and 2006 to a fixed cohort of farmers over the age of 50 years at baseline who resided in Kentucky and South Carolina obtained by a convenience sample. Analyses are based on 755 farmers with complete follow-up data; 50% of the participants are male, 81% are white, 18% are African-American, and 1% is American Indian.

Results: Preliminary results revealed 287 farmwork-related injuries were reported in 24% (n=180) of the cohort; the injury rates for male, female, white and African-American farmers per 100 per year were 14.6, 4.5, 9.1, and 11.4 respectively. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) regression modeling will be used to evaluate risk factors associated with farmwork injuries, which are anticipated to include: demographics, health status of the farmer, farm characteristics (size, commodities, etc.), and type of farm work performed.

Conclusions: This study is unique with respect to its focus on older farmers, inclusion of women and minority farmers, and longitudinal design. Results from the study should better inform agricultural health policies and public health measures needed for this unique, at risk population.

Learning Objectives:
Identify risk factors for farmwork-related injury in older farmers. Differentiate risk factors in two unique sub-populations of farmers, women and African Americans.

Keywords: Agricultural Work Safety, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently have a Master's in medical sciences and am a Doctor of Public Health candidate. I have been involved in the planning of the research questions and will be responsible for data analyses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.