Lung Function and Respiratory Symptoms of Bangkok Firefighters


  • Sakunporn Songtalae
  • Ann Jirapongsuwan
  • Sukhontha Siri
  • Surintorn Kalampakorn


Respiratory symptoms, pulmonary function, firefighter


Respiratory problems are significant for firefighters. Exposure to chemical hazards
during firefighting can affect their respiratory health. This cross-sectional study aimed to
examine the factors related to respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function of firefighters
who work in Bangkok. The sample consisted of 186 male firefighters selected by multistage,
stratified-cluster random sampling. The data were collected using an ATS-DLD-78 questionnaire
and a spirometer. Descriptive statistics, odds ratio, and adjusted and logistic regression
were used for data analysis. The results revealed the prevalence of respiratory symptoms
was 65.1 percent. The overall prevalence of abnormal pulmonary function was 6.5 percent
with 4.3 percent exhibiting obstructive abnormalities and 2.2 percent with restrictive
abnormalities. Variables related to respiratory symptoms included underlying respiratory
disease, smoking habit, number of fires fought, and time passed since last fire; all
significantly associated with respiratory symptoms (p-value < 0.05). Results from logistic
regression analysis showed respiratory symptoms related to underlying disease (ORadj =
4.86, 95% CI: 1.18-20.02), cigarette smoking (ORadj = 3.99, 95% CI: 1.67-9.57), number of
fires fought over 20 times per year (ORadj = 2.35 95% CI: 1.10-5.02) and number of days
since the last fire less than 90 days (ORadj = 3.98, 95% CI: 1.24-12.78).
Findings from this study, call for the Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department to use
similar data collection in establishing guidelines to ensure firefighter health through
providing routine lung function tests and smoking cessation programs to prevent respiratory diseases among firefighters.


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How to Cite

Songtalae, S., Jirapongsuwan, A., Siri, S., & Kalampakorn, S. (2019). Lung Function and Respiratory Symptoms of Bangkok Firefighters. Journal of Public Health Nursing, 32(1), 45–58. Retrieved from



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