Acceso abierto

Prevalence of Respiratory Symptoms and Spirometric Values in Aluminium Potroom Workers


The goal of this study was to examine the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms in potroom workers and to compare these results with changes in spirometric parameters. A modified questionnaire on respiratory symptoms from the British Medical Research Council was used to take the medical history data about respiratory symptoms. Spirometric parameters were determined on the same day (as a part of regular checkups) using the Jaeger spirometer. The study included 215 potroom workers from the aluminium factory in Podgorica, Montenegro. All subjects were men, but they differed in age and duration of work. The group used for comparison consisted of 81 unemployed male applicants for jobs in the factory who had never been exposed to this kind of air pollution before.

Potroom workers mostly complained of breathlessness associated with the workplace (56.7 %) or weather changes (rain, cold wind, and humidity) (41.9%) and of dyspnoea when climbing stairs (51.2 %), but only 22.3 % reported using medication to treat these episodes. Most workers reported to have been smoking at the time of the study (62.4 %). Spirometric data showed only insignificant variations compared to the expected values (CECA standards). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), characterised by FEV1/VC % <88 % was found in only 17 (7.9 %) potroom workers, while asthma was identified in 9 (4.2 %). Although the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms reported by the examined potroom workers was quite high at the group level, they were not associated with ventilatory impairments.

Inglés, Slovenian
Calendario de la edición:
4 veces al año
Temas de la revista:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other