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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 27(2); 1994 > Article
Original Article A Survey on Physical Complaints Related with Farmers' Syndrome of Vinylhouse and Non-vinylhouse Farmers.
Ju Young Lee, Jung Han Park, Doohie Kim
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 1994;27(2):258-273
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Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Korea.

To compare the physical complaints of vinylhouse farmers with those of non-vinylhouse farmers, a personal interviews on 250 and 142 vinylhouse farmers were conducted in Sungjoo county in Kyungpook province selected by a random sampling from July 5 to July 10, 1993. Blood pressure of the subjects was also measured. Vinylhouse farmers had a higher average age, larger family size, shorter experience of farming, more working hours per day and working days per year and higher annual income than non-vinylhouse farmers. The frequency of preticide spray of the vinylhouse farmer was 3.4times on the average in June 1993 as compared with 2.0 times of non-vinylhouse farmers, and 16.7 times for the vinylhouse farmers during the last one year while it was 8.3 times for the non-vinylhouse farmers in the same period. While 39.6% of vinylhouse farmers experienced pesticide intoxication symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, itching, and skin irritation, etc. during the month of June, 25.4% of non-vinylhouse farmers experienced such symptoms. The most frequent symptoms among eight symptoms that constitute the farmers' syndrome were lumbago, numbness of hand or foot shoulder pain and dizziness regardless of sex and type of farming. Prevalence of the farmers' syndrome in male and female among vinylhouse farmers were 22.1%, 43.4%, respectively, and the prevalence in non-vinylhouse farmers was 23.2% for male and 50.7%for female. There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of farmers' syndrome between vinylhouse and non-vinylhouse farmers. However, The prevalence on female was about 2 times higher than that of male When the effects of other factors were adjusted by multiple logistic regression for farmers' syndrome, the prevalence in female was 3.0 times higher than that of male. The prevalence of farmers' syndrome was increased as the age of farmers increased on both vinylhouse and non-vinylhouse farmers, and adjusted odds ratio of farmers' syndrome increased by 3% as the age increased by 1 year Adjusted odds ratio of Farmers' syndrome in farmers who experienced pesticide intoxication during the month of June was 3.7times higher than that of farmers who did not have such experience. While the prevalence of hypertension in male and female non-vinylhouse farmers were 22.4%, 13.7%, respectively, the prevalence in vinylhouse farmers were 13.5% for male and 12.0% for female. However, there was no association between farmers' syndrome and hypertension. It was found in this study that the vinylhouse farmers are at a high risk of pesticide intoxication, which is associated with the common physical complaints. To reduce such risk it is necessary to develop farming methods which do not require the pesticide of may use less pesticide, a safer method of pesticide spraying, and the protective equipments which can be worn at a high temperature and have a better protective effect. Also education of farmers for the correct methods of ventilation after pesticide spraying in the vinylhouse and wearing the protective equipments may be considered as a supportive method. Since inappropriate posture at work and intensive labor may cause farmers' syndrome, it is recommended to develop farming tools which reduce physical burden and take a rest and exercise periodically during work. It is necessary to strengthen the hypertension management program of the Kyungpook province, because the prevalence of hypertension was as high as about 15%.

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health