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Journal article

Respiratory health of hispanic migrant farm workers in indiana




J. G. N. Garcia


The prevalence of respiratory disease in a Midwest Hispanic (mostly Mexican) migrant from worker population was investigated Chronic respiratory symptoms (cough, wheezing, sputum production) in adult workers (n = 354) were elevated (8.5%, 6.2%, 6.5%, respectively) and were accompanied by physiologic abnormalities as determined by pulmonary function testing. Over 15% of the adult cohort exhibited a FEV(1)/FVC < 75, and over 14% had FEF(25-75) values which were less than 60% of predicted. The observed airflow obstruction of both large and small airways was not explained by cigarette usage (43%) in the adult cohort (current/past smokers). Tuberculin skin tests (TST) were positive (greater than or equal to 10 mm) in 55/195 melt and 35/123 women for a total prevalence of 28.3%. No case of active tuberculosis (TB) was identified by either chest X-ray (CXR) or sputum cultures (in selected cases). In contrast to. adult farm workers, who were predominantly born in Mexico (70%), only 36% of adolescent workers (age 11-28 years, n = 107) were born in Mexico with only 7.5% exhibiting TST positivity. Airflow obstruction of large airways (5.8%) and small airways (12.9%) were also less common in adolescents than adults. In summary these studies document respiratory dysfunction in Hispanic migrant farm workers in Indiana and highlight the need to closely monitor the respiratory health of this high-risk population. (C) 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [References: 32]

Journal title

American Journal of Industrial Medicine




Garcia JGN


Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers, General farm workers, and Harvesting labourers

Content types

Statistics on work and life conditions

Target groups


Geographical focuses

United States

Spheres of activity

Health sciences