Factors associated with respiratory symptoms and lung functions among temple workers exposed to incense smoke in Bangkok
Keywords:incense smoke, respiratory symptoms, lung function, temple workers
Incomplete combustion caused by incense lighting emits abundance of aerosol substances such as hydrocarbon compounds smaller than 2.5 microns and Volatile organic compound (VOCs) in the environment. Temple workers are the high-risk group who directly inhales incense smoke, affecting the lungs. As a result, the researcher aims to study the prevalence and factors related to respiratory symptoms and lung functions in the temple workers, who are exposed to incense smoke in the Bangkok metropolitan. This study has adopted the Cross-sectional design. A total of 201 temple workers were recruited by the stratified sampling. Data were collected by validated questionnaire and calibrated spirometry. Descriptive statistic, simple and multiple logistic regression were used to analyse data. The results reveal that 55.2% of temple workers reported having at least one respiratory symptom and the most reported symptom was cough (28.6%). 28.4% of the workers were found abnormal lung functions which restrictive lung function was identified the most (16.4%) followed by an obstructive type (9.0%). Factors associated with abnormal respiratory symptoms were body mass index (ORadj= 1.09, 95%CI: 1.01-1.16), environmental risk perception (ORadj= 2.39, 95%CI: 1.24-4.62), and the education level (ORadj=0.07, 95%CI: 0.01-0.73). For abnormal lung function, its related factors were having underlying diseases (ORadj= 2.41, 95%CI: 1.11-5.21) and collecting incense job description (ORadj= 2.89, 95%CI: 1.08-7.76). We recommend to use these findings as an input of related health policies such as pre-placement examination of the temple workers and sequential check-up in the high-risk group of workers who are tested with abnormal lung function. In addition, the Lung Hygiene Therapy should also be delivered to the targeted population.
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