246883 Prevalence of respirator/dust mask use among U.S. primary farm operators with asthma: Analysis of the 2006 Farm and Ranch Safety Survey

Monday, October 31, 2011

Patricia Schleiff, MS , Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Surveillance Branch, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV
Jacek M. Mazurek, MD, MS, PhD , Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV
Girija Syamlal, MBBS, MPH , Division of Respiratory Disease Studies , National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV
OBJECTIVES: To estimate prevalence of respirator/dust mask use among U.S. primary farm operators with asthma, and to estimate this prevalence by operator and farm characteristics. METHODS: In 2006, a regionally stratified telephone survey of 25,000 farm operations was conducted. The survey objective was to address the health and safety concerns of primary farm operators. Self-reported data on 12,278 active farm operators (adjusted response rate of 75.1%) were analyzed. Weighted prevalences with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Prevalence differences (PD) between groups were evaluated using a t-test. RESULTS: An estimated 2.1 million primary operators worked on active farms. Of these, 4.9% (95%CI: 4.45.4%) had current asthma. Significantly more operators with current asthma (49.5%; 95%CI: 44.254.7%) had used a respirator/dust mask in the last 12 months than operators without asthma (36.7%; 95%CI: 35.637.8%). Among subsets, this difference remained significant and was higher for males (PD=14.7%, p<0.001); 35+ year-olds (PD=12.7%, p<0.001); part-time operators (PD=14.3%, p<0.001); Midwest operators (PD=17.6%, p<0.001); livestock operations (PD=16.5%, p<0.001); and large farms (PD=14.2%, p<0.001). Among operators with current asthma, respirator/dust mask use in the last 12 months was more likely among those who had experienced asthma attacks while doing farm work than among those who had not experienced asthma attacks while doing farm work (PD=13.3%, p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These findings contribute to the limited information on respirator use and asthma among farm operators. Further studies should evaluate respiratory protection programs and asthma management among farm operators.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Analyze health and respirator-use data collected from a population of farm operators using the 2006 Farm and Ranch Safety Survey. Describe the distribution of respirator/dust mask use among farm operators with and without current asthma. Compare the prevalence of respirator/dust mask use among farm operators with current asthma who had experienced an asthma attack while doing farm work to those operators that did not experience an asthma attack while doing farm work.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I analyzed the data presented in the abstract, and I prepared the abstract for submission.
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.