Background: Cement factory workers are exposed to dangerous cement dust while at workplace especially in the developing countries where little or no safety standards are followed. This study investigated the work‑related respiratory symptoms and cardiopulmonary functions’ impairment in cement factory workers in South‑West, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Seventy cement exposed workers and 70 age‑matched unexposed individuals participated in this cross‑sectional study. A self‑administered questionnaire was used to assess their sociodemographic characteristics, clinical details, and respiratory symptoms. Selected cardiopulmonary parameters of participants were measured. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20.0. Independent t‑test was used to compare the selected cardiopulmonary parameters of the two groups.
Results: The mean age of cement‑exposed group was 31.57 ± 8.32 years, and the unexposed group was 31.50 ± 8.57 years. The prevalence of respiratory symptoms among the cement‑exposed group were as follows: 71.4% for cough, 45.7% for phlegm, 67.1% for wheeze, 38.6% for breathlessness, and 48.6% for chest tightness while those for the unexposed group were as follows: 50% for cough, 15.7% for phlegm, 5.7% for wheeze, 2.9% for breathlessness, and 7.1% for chest tightness. There were significant differences between the mean values of forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/FVC ratio, peak expiratory flow rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.05) of the cement‑exposed group and those of the unexposed group.
Conclusion: Respiratory symptoms were higher among cement factory workers than the age‑matched unexposed individuals. FVC, FEV1, FEV1/FVC ratio, and peak expiratory flow rate were reduced while blood pressure was increased in cement factory workers.
Keywords: Cardiopulmonary functions, cement factory workers, respiratory symptoms, work‑related.
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