Respiratory effects of biomass fuel combustion on rural fish smokers in a Nigerian fishing settlement: a case control study
Backgroud: The aim was to study the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and assess the lung function of fish smokers in Nigeria.
Methods: A case control study was done among fish smokers in Nigeria. Women aged 15 years or older (n=210) involved in fish smoking and equal number of matched controls were interviewed on respiratory symptoms and their peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) measured. Data was analysed using chi square test, student's t-test and odd ratios.
Results: Both groups were similar in their personal characteristics. The test group had significantly increased occurrence of sneezing (153; 72.86%), catarrh (159; 75.71%), cough (138; 65.71%) and chest pain (59; 28.10%) compared with the control group, odds ratio (OR) 2.49, 95% confidence interval CI (1.62-3.82), P < 0.001), OR 3.77,95% CI (2.44- 5.85), P < 0.001, OR 3.38, 95% CI (2.22-5.15), P < 0.001, and OR 6.45,95% CI (3.22-13.15), P < 0.001, respectively. The mean PEFR of 321±58.93 L/min among the fish smokers was significantly lower than 400±42.92 L/min among the controls (p = 0.0001).
Conclusion: Fish smokers have increased risk of respiratory symptoms and reduced pulmonary function. There is a need for protective equipment and periodic evaluation.
Keywords: Biomass combustion, respiratory effect, fish smokers, Nigeria
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