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Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among Congolese cement workers exposed to cement dust, in Kongo Central Province

Journal article
Authors E. P. Mbelambela
M. Eitoku
S. M. J. Muchanga
A. F. Villanueva
R. Hirota
T. Y. Pulphus
G. J. Sokolo
Kahoko Yasumitsu-Lovell
K. Komori
N. Suganuma
Published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume 25
Issue 35
Pages 35074-35083
ISSN 0944-1344
Publication year 2018
Published at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 35074-35083
Language en
Keywords Dust, Occupation, Portland cement, Respiratory symptoms, Lung function, COPD, ventilatory function, respiratory symptoms, lung-function
Subject categories Environmental medicine, Respiratory Medicine and Allergy


Chronic exposure to cement dust may induce adverse health effects, including a significant decrease in lung function. The study investigated whether the prevalence of COPD and respiratory symptoms was associated with working at different tasks exposed to varying levels of cement dust. The cross-sectional study was carried out among 223 exposed and 156 less exposed workers from two cement factories from November 20 to December 15, 2016 in DRC. Workers completed a questionnaire and spirometry was performed. Multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the association between occupation exposed to cement dust, COPD, and respiratory symptoms, after adjustment for confounders. Morning cough and cough on most days for as much as 3 months each year were significantly higher in the exposed group (p < 0.05) (p = 0.001) than in the less exposed group. As compared to the less exposed group, the prevalence of COPD was higher among the exposed group, 28.2 and 9.6% respectively (p < 0.001). A significant association with COPD, aOR 14.49 (5.33; 39.40), aOR 3.37 (1.44; 7.89), and aOR 3.09 (1.58; 6.05) was found among cleaning, transportation, and production workers, respectively. Working at certain tasks exposed to cement dust is associated with the higher prevalence of COPD and respiratory symptoms. A greater risk is being among cleaning, transportation, and production workers. This suggests the necessity to prioritize the quality of preventive measures in each work area. RONS HL, 1988, BRITISH JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE, V45, P368

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