Factors associated with cholinesterase levels among farmers
Keywords:cholinesterase, pesticides exposure, insecticide, farmer health
Objectives The objective was to explore the prevalence of abnormal cholinesterase (ChE) levels among farmers, and its associated factors.
Methods This study was a cross-sectional study. The sample were 1,944 farmers in Phitsanulok, Thailand. Participants were randomly selected using a multistage sampling. Data were collected by using a face-to-face interview questionnaire. Demographics, the historical use of pesticides, data on knowledge, attitude, and practice on exposure prevention were also collected. Cholinesterase levels were measured using a reactive-paper finger-blood test. Correlation of risk factors to the prevalence of abnormal ChE among farmers were analyzed by binary logistic regression and multiple logistic regression.
Results It was found that 61.9% of the participants had abnormal PChE, defined as having risky and unsafe levels. The prevalence of abnormal PChE was significantly correlated to sex, education, and frequency of farm visits. Compared to the rarely visited group, participants who visit a farm every week (adjusted OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.16-2.49) and every day (adjusted OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.21-2.51) had a higher risk of abnormal PChE. The result revealed that spraying, duration of insecticide usage, knowledge, attitude, and practice were not associated with PChE.
Conclusion This study found over half of the farmers had abnormal ChE. The abnormality was significantly linked to several risk factors, including sex, education, and frequency of farm visits. Therefore, preventive measurements of pesticide exposure are needed to protect the farmers.
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