Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among Congolese cement workers exposed to cement dust, in Kongo Central Province
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Chronic exposure to cement dust may induce adverse health effects, including a significant decrease in lung function. The study investigated whether the prevalence of COPD and respiratory symptoms was associated with working at different tasks exposed to varying levels of cement dust. The cross-sectional study was carried out among 223 exposed and 156 less exposed workers from two cement factories from November 20 to December 15, 2016 in DRC. Workers completed a questionnaire and spirometry was performed. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the association between occupation exposed to cement dust, COPD, and respiratory symptoms, after adjustment for confounders. Morning cough and cough on most days for as much as 3 months each year were significantly higher in the exposed group (p < 0.05) (p = 0.001) than in the less exposed group. As compared to the less exposed group, the prevalence of COPD was higher among the exposed group, 28.2 and 9.6% respectively (p < 0.001). A significant association with COPD, aOR 14.49 (5.33; 39.40), aOR 3.37 (1.44; 7.89), and aOR 3.09 (1.58; 6.05) was found among cleaning, transportation, and production workers, respectively. Working at certain tasks exposed to cement dust is associated with the higher prevalence of COPD and respiratory symptoms. A greater risk is being among cleaning, transportation, and production workers. This suggests the necessity to prioritize the quality of preventive measures in each work area.
KeywordsDust Occupation Portland cement Respiratory symptoms Lung function COPD
This study was supported by the Department of Environmental Medicine of Kochi University. We thank the authorities of the Ministry of Industries, CILU and CINAT cement factories and our research team in DRC for their support in the carrying out of this study.
EPM principal investigator and designer of the study, participated in data collection, statistical analysis, wrote and revised the manuscript, and approved the final version of manuscript.
ME participated in study design, data analysis and interpretation, drafting and approved the final version of manuscript.
SMM participated in research designing, statistical analysis, approved the final version of manuscript.
AVN participated in study design, wrote the manuscript, and approved the final version of manuscript.
RH participated in research designing, statistical analysis, and approved the final version of manuscript.
TYP wrote the manuscript, approved the final version of manuscript.
GJS participated in research designing, data collection, and approved the final version of manuscript.
KY-L participated in statistical analysis; improve the manuscript, approval of the final version of manuscript.
KK participated in research designing, and approved the final version of manuscript.
NS professor, advisor of research, participated in research designing, statistical analysis, improved and approved the final version of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
This study is in accordance with the Ethical standards. This study was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki declaration. The study protocol was approved by the DRC Governmental Ministry of Industries and the Ethics Committee of Kochi University Medical School, Japan (approval number: 28-87).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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