Association between occupational exposures and prevalence of asthma among US migrant and seasonal farmworkers: National Agricultural Workers Survey, 2001-2014
Monday, March 5, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Anna Chen Arroyo, MD MPH, Carlos A. Camargo Jr., MD DrPH FAAAAI
RATIONALE: Little is known about the prevalence of asthma among US migrant and seasonal farmworkers nationally. We examined the association between occupational exposures and lifetime and current prevalence of asthma in this unique population. METHODS: We used the 2001-2014 public access data from the National Agricultural Workers Survey, which is a nationally representative employment-based random sample survey of US migrant and seasonal cropworkers, using face-to-face interviews. In bivariate and logistic regression analysis, we examined cross-sectional associations between demographic factors, occupational exposures (type of crop, number of years farmworking, and pesticide use) and self-reported physician-diagnosed lifetime and currently treated asthma. RESULTS: Our analysis included data from 31,493 seasonal and migrant farmworkers. Self-reported lifetime prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma was 3.0% [95% CI, 2.6, 3.4] and self-reported prevalence of currently treated asthma was 1.7% [95% CI, 1.4, 2.0]. After adjustment, significant predictors for lifetime asthma were female gender (OR 1.9, p<0.001), speaking English partially (OR 1.9, p<0.001) or well (OR 2.4, p<0.01), citizenship status (OR 3.0, p<0.001), and pesticide use in the last 12 months (OR 1.4, p<0.05). After adjustment, significant predictors for currently treated asthma were female gender (OR 2.6, p<0.001), speaking English partially (OR 2.1, p<0.001) or well (OR 3.0, p<0.01), and citizenship status (OR 3.6, p<0.01). Type of crop exposure and number of years farmworking were not significant predictors for lifetime or currently treated asthma. CONCLUSIONS: US farmworkers had low asthma prevalence. Women, US citizens, and those with better English proficiency and pesticide exposure were more likely to report lifetime prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma.