Online Program

Risk of visual impairment in individuals with a history of a farming, forestry, or fishing occupation

Monday, November 2, 2015

Miriam Siegel, MPH, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Background and Objective: Visual impairment (VI) is associated with mortality, poor productivity, and decreased quality of life. Farming, forestry, and fishing (FFF) occupations often require workers to engage in behaviors that can put these individuals at risk for VI. The current objective was to evaluate if individuals with a history of an FFF occupation were more likely to report VI than those with a history of an alternate occupation. 

Methods: Cross-sectional data were analyzed from 11,753 U.S. adults from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) years 2005-2006 and 2007-2008. Longest occupation and nine measures of self-reported VI were assessed for associations with logistic regression applying NHANES sampling weights.

Results: Preliminary logistic regression revealed that, when controlling for demographic confounders, individuals with a history of an FFF occupation were significantly more likely to report poorer general eyesight (OR: 1.77; 95% CI: 1.77, 1.77), increased time worrying about eyesight (OR: 1.14; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.14), more time limitations in activities due to vision (OR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.47, 1.48), and difficulty reading newsprint (OR: 1.58; 95% CI: 1.58, 1.59), noticing objects to the side (OR: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.16 1.17), and daytime driving (OR: 1.29; 95% CI: 1.29 1.30) than those without an FFF occupation history.

Conclusion: FFF workers were found to be more likely to report VI than workers of other occupations. Further research should identify hazards that make FFF workers more vulnerable to VI. Workplace practices should adopt education and intervention programs that minimize the risk for VI.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Assess if individuals with a history of a farming, forestry, or fishing occupation are more likely to report visual impairment than those with a history of an alternate occupation.

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiology DrPH student at the University of Kentucky funded by the Central Appalachian Region Education and Research Center to concentrate in occupational epidemiology. My specific research interests involve occupational exposures and neurobehavioral outcomes, particularly in agriculture.
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.