The aim of this study was to determine the prevalences and regional risk factors for respiratory symptoms in European and Californian farmers. Farmers participating in the 1993-1997 surveys performed in Europe (n = 7,188) and California (n = 1,839) were included in this cross-sectional study. Respiratory symptoms and farming characteristics were assessed by questionnaire and risk factors associated with symptoms using logistic regression. The prevalences of rhinitis and asthma were lower in European (12.7% and 2.8%) than in Californian farmers (23.9% and 4.7%), but chronic bronchitis and toxic pneumonitis were more prevalent in Europe (10.7% and 12.2%) than in California (4.41% and 2.7%). Respiratory symptoms were associated with poultry and rabbit farming, flower growing and the cultivation of grain and oil plants. Working in Europe was a statistically significant risk factor for chronic bronchitis and toxic pneumonitis. Chronic bronchitis was related to toxic pneumonitis, work inside confinement buildings and greenhouses. Chronic bronchitis and toxic pneumonitis are highly prevalent among European farmers and are mainly attributable to indoor work.
Risk-factors; Respiratory-hypersensitivity; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-system-disorders; Farmers; Questionnaires; Bronchial-asthma; Toxins; Chromosome-disorders; Chronic-exposure; Chronic-inflammation; Chronic-toxicity; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-disorders