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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2004;37(1): 37-43.
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Green Tobacco Sickness among Korean Tobacco Harvesters.
Hyun Sul Lim, Kwan Lee, Si Hyun Nam
1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea. wisewine@dongguk.ac.kr
2Cheongsong-gun Health Center and County Hospital, Korea.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE: This study was carried out to understand the prevalence and risk factors of green tobacco sickness (GTS) among Korean tobacco harvesters. METHODS: The authors conducted a questionnaire among the tobacco harvesters (1, 064 persons from 555 out of 723 tobacco harvesting households) in Cheongsong-gun for 4 days from May 7 to 10, 2002. RESULTS: The study subjects were 550 males and 514 females. The recognition and experience of GTS up until 2001 were 96.4% and 61.9%, respectively. The prevalence of GTS in 2001 was 42.5%, and was significantly higher in females than in males (59.0% vs. 26.6%, p< 0.01). The incidence density of GTS according to the number of workdays in 2001 was 12.3 spells/100 person' days. The GTS symptoms reported by the tobacco harvesters in 2001 were dizziness in 441 cases (97.6%), nausea in 414 (91.6%), headache in 349 (77.2%) and vomiting in 343 (75.9%). The use of gloves, hat and wristlets, sweating at work and the number of working hours significantly increased the prevalence of GTS (p< 0.05). Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the factors significantly associated with GTS. Odds ratios for smoking, working over 10 hours and sweating at work were 0.26 (95% CI: 0.19-0.35), 1.64 (95% CI: 1.26-2.14) and 1.60 (95% CI: 1.14-2.25), respectively. Of those who reported GTS in 2001, 311 cases (68.8%) underwent treatment from their local medical facilities. CONCLUSION: In Korea, there are many tobaccoharvesting households, and most may be stricken with GTS. More extensive epidemiological studies, including heincidence and associated risk factors, are expected and a surveillance system including measurements of cotinine in urine should be conducted.
Key words: Green tobacco sickness; Tobacco; Nicotine; Poisoning
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