As the findings on changes in pulmonary function of welders have been inconsistent, this study aimed to analyze respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function among welders and controls with particular emphasis on small airways dysfunction.
Cross-sectional analysis, using spirometry and a standardized questionnaire, was used to evaluate 521 participants, 166 of whom (64 welders and 102 controls) were evaluated for pulmonary symptoms, occupational inhalative exposures, leisure time activities, and anamnestic data.
The welders reported more pulmonary symptoms than the controls.
They exhibited a decreased mean expiratory flow (MEF) at 25% and 50% of vital capacity (MEF25, MEF50) while the other parameters tested (forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s) were unchanged compared with the controls.
Multivariate regression analysis revealed that smoking explained the observed variance ; only in MEF25 the duration of welding exposure had a significant influence on this parameter.
The significantly reduced flow values among the welders compared with the controls indicates the presence of small airways disease.
Differences in smoking habits accounted for more than double the differences in MEF25 than did chronic welding fume exposure, confirming the role of the former as the main risk factor leading to the decline in lung function. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Particule, Soudage, Toxicité, Exposition professionnelle, Médecine travail, Homme, Fonction respiratoire, Spirométrie, Voie respiratoire, Questionnaire, Epidémiologie, Autriche, Europe, Fumée
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Particle, Welding, Toxicity, Occupational exposure, Occupational medicine, Human, Lung function, Spirometry, Respiratory tract, Questionnaire, Epidemiology, Austria, Europe, Fumes
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0297336
Code Inist : 002B03L03. Création : 15/07/1997.