The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Chronic obstructivepulmonary disease prevalence in workers of rubber plantations in SouthVietnam

Le ThiTuyet Lan ? Vo Minh Vinh

 Theaim of this study is to determine the prevalence of COPD in workers of rubberplantations in South Vietnam.

1053 workers of 6 rubber plantationsin South Vietnam have been selected by stratified random method, including 559males (53.09%) and 494 females (46.91%). The age of workers in this study isfrom 18 to 61 years old.

1.89% of workers are exposed toinsecticides and 27.07% to H2S, ammonia and acetic acid. All female workersare exposed to wood-cooking fumes at their homes.

The rate of female smokers is only1.4% while that of male is up to 94.1%. There are 39% of male workers who havesmoked before 18 years old and among them 14% have smoked before 15 years old.22% of male workers have smoked more than 20 pack-years. All workers were interviewedby physicians to fulfill the British Medical Research Council questionnaires,undergone clinical examinations and spirometric tests, which adhered to themethod of ATS, 1994. COPD was defined as FEV1/VC < 70%, no significant responseto short acting b2-agonist and clinically correlated. Chest x-rayswere performed for patients who met three of the above criteria to rule outother diseases before the diagnosis of COPD was made. For COPD patients of stage2 and 3, blood gas analysis were done.

The classification of COPD severityis based on % FEV1 predicted. The predicted values are that of Asian people.The result is shown in the following table:

Table 1. Prevalence and stagingof COPD in 1053 workers of rubber plantations in South Vietnam


Characteristicsfemales n(%)malesn (%)
0Normal spirometry Chronic coughand sputum production9 (1.82)24 (4.24)
160% ² FEV1< 80% predicted 12 (2.43)47 (8.31)
240% ² FEV1< 60% predicted 1 (0.20) 4 (0.70)
3 FEV1 < 40%predicted 1 (0.20)1 (0.77)
 Total 23 (4.65)76 (13.42)

FEV1 : Forced expiratory volume inone second

Thus the prevalence of COPD in femalerubber plantation workers is 4.65%, that of male 13.42% and of both gender is9.03%.

This study showed how importantare the smoking rate and COPD prevalence in male workers in rubber plantationsin South Vietnam.

The need for helping them to quitsmoking and early management of their COPD is urgent.


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