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Respiratory illnesses and ventilatory function among gem cutters in Sri Lanka

Authors:

S Prathapan ,

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
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P Hettiarachchi,

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
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SW Wimalasekara

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
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Abstract

Introduction This study explores the proportion of respiratory symptoms and ventilatory functions among gem cutters in the city of gems, in Sri Lanka.

Methods All gem cutters in the Ratnapura Medical Officers of Health area were included and the control group was selected from the government officers residing in the same area. The gem cutters and the controls were matched according to their age and sex. Pulmonary function was measured with a spirometer and peak flow meter.

Results A significantly higher percentage of the exposed workers reported recurrent and prolonged cough (35%) and chest tightening (10%). FEV1 and FEV1/FVC was significantly lower in the exposed workers compared with unexposed workers. The results remained the same for the FEV1/FVC ratio (p=0.004) after adjusting for age and body mass index.

Conclusions Adverse respiratory health effects observed among gem cutters were probably caused by exposure to gem dust.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i1.5361

Ceylon Medical Journal 2013; 58: 29-31

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i1.5361
How to Cite: Prathapan, S., Hettiarachchi, P. and Wimalasekara, S., 2013. Respiratory illnesses and ventilatory function among gem cutters in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Medical Journal, 58(1), pp.29–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v58i1.5361
Published on 01 Apr 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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