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Healthy worker survivor analysis in an occupational cohort study of Dutch agricultural workers.

Spierenburg EA, Smit LA, Heederik D, Robbe P, Hylkema MN, Wouters IM - Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2015)

Bottom Line: In general, no major healthy worker survival effect was found.Company workers lost to follow-up with a farm childhood had more often self-reported allergy, but this was not observed for subjects with atopic sensitization or other respiratory symptoms.No major healthy worker survival is present in this organic dust exposed cohort.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. e.a.j.spierenburg@uu.nl.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: High microbial exposures in farmers and agricultural workers are associated with less atopy. Although it has been speculated that healthy worker survival could be an explanation, this has not been studied so far. Therefore, we investigated the presence of healthy worker survival in a five-year follow-up study of an occupational cohort of Dutch farmers and agricultural industry (company) workers.

Methods: We compared baseline demographic characteristics, respiratory health, atopy and endotoxin exposure of 259 workers followed up with 124 workers lost to follow-up. Additionally, baseline health status of 31 participants who had changed to lower exposure jobs at follow-up was compared to those with similar or higher exposure jobs at follow-up.

Results: In general, no major healthy worker survival effect was found. Nonetheless, small differences were observed between subjects included in follow-up and those lost to follow-up. Those lost to follow-up were older, had a lower peak expiratory flow, and were less often raised on a farm. Company workers lost to follow-up with a farm childhood had more often self-reported allergy, but this was not observed for subjects with atopic sensitization or other respiratory symptoms. No differences were found for any of the studied characteristics in participants with lower exposure at follow-up compared to participants with similar or higher exposure at follow-up.

Conclusions: No major healthy worker survival is present in this organic dust exposed cohort. Differences between participants lost to follow-up and participants included in follow-up with regard to health characteristics are small and unlikely to explain the previously reported inverse associations between endotoxin exposure and atopy.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Flow chart of study population. Flow chart of study population from recruitment at baseline and eligible for follow-up till follow-up or loss to follow-up. Participants are categorized based on the information provided at baseline: questionnaire data (Q) and health exam (H). Several companies did not participate in follow-up and therefore subjects from those companies are not eligible for follow-up. For the present analysis, the main study population consists of participants who provided questionnaire and health exam information (‘Q and H’, bold)
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Fig1: Flow chart of study population. Flow chart of study population from recruitment at baseline and eligible for follow-up till follow-up or loss to follow-up. Participants are categorized based on the information provided at baseline: questionnaire data (Q) and health exam (H). Several companies did not participate in follow-up and therefore subjects from those companies are not eligible for follow-up. For the present analysis, the main study population consists of participants who provided questionnaire and health exam information (‘Q and H’, bold)

Mentions: A flow-scheme of the study population from baseline till follow-up is presented in Fig. 1. Nineteen out of 23 (83 %) agricultural companies participated in follow-up. The four non-participating companies had several reasons for not participating in follow-up (Table 1). The companies that were lost were divided over different sectors and attributed 70 workers (15.5 % of the initial study population); those workers were not considered to be eligible for follow-up. Of the participants eligible for follow-up and participating in the health examination at baseline, the follow-up rate was 84 % for farmers and 62 % for company workers that participated at follow-up. The follow-up rate for subjects who had only completed the questionnaire was much lower: 35 % for farmers and 45 % for company workers (Fig. 1).Fig. 1


Healthy worker survivor analysis in an occupational cohort study of Dutch agricultural workers.

Spierenburg EA, Smit LA, Heederik D, Robbe P, Hylkema MN, Wouters IM - Int Arch Occup Environ Health (2015)

Flow chart of study population. Flow chart of study population from recruitment at baseline and eligible for follow-up till follow-up or loss to follow-up. Participants are categorized based on the information provided at baseline: questionnaire data (Q) and health exam (H). Several companies did not participate in follow-up and therefore subjects from those companies are not eligible for follow-up. For the present analysis, the main study population consists of participants who provided questionnaire and health exam information (‘Q and H’, bold)
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4608974&req=5

Fig1: Flow chart of study population. Flow chart of study population from recruitment at baseline and eligible for follow-up till follow-up or loss to follow-up. Participants are categorized based on the information provided at baseline: questionnaire data (Q) and health exam (H). Several companies did not participate in follow-up and therefore subjects from those companies are not eligible for follow-up. For the present analysis, the main study population consists of participants who provided questionnaire and health exam information (‘Q and H’, bold)
Mentions: A flow-scheme of the study population from baseline till follow-up is presented in Fig. 1. Nineteen out of 23 (83 %) agricultural companies participated in follow-up. The four non-participating companies had several reasons for not participating in follow-up (Table 1). The companies that were lost were divided over different sectors and attributed 70 workers (15.5 % of the initial study population); those workers were not considered to be eligible for follow-up. Of the participants eligible for follow-up and participating in the health examination at baseline, the follow-up rate was 84 % for farmers and 62 % for company workers that participated at follow-up. The follow-up rate for subjects who had only completed the questionnaire was much lower: 35 % for farmers and 45 % for company workers (Fig. 1).Fig. 1

Bottom Line: In general, no major healthy worker survival effect was found.Company workers lost to follow-up with a farm childhood had more often self-reported allergy, but this was not observed for subjects with atopic sensitization or other respiratory symptoms.No major healthy worker survival is present in this organic dust exposed cohort.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands. e.a.j.spierenburg@uu.nl.

ABSTRACT

Objectives: High microbial exposures in farmers and agricultural workers are associated with less atopy. Although it has been speculated that healthy worker survival could be an explanation, this has not been studied so far. Therefore, we investigated the presence of healthy worker survival in a five-year follow-up study of an occupational cohort of Dutch farmers and agricultural industry (company) workers.

Methods: We compared baseline demographic characteristics, respiratory health, atopy and endotoxin exposure of 259 workers followed up with 124 workers lost to follow-up. Additionally, baseline health status of 31 participants who had changed to lower exposure jobs at follow-up was compared to those with similar or higher exposure jobs at follow-up.

Results: In general, no major healthy worker survival effect was found. Nonetheless, small differences were observed between subjects included in follow-up and those lost to follow-up. Those lost to follow-up were older, had a lower peak expiratory flow, and were less often raised on a farm. Company workers lost to follow-up with a farm childhood had more often self-reported allergy, but this was not observed for subjects with atopic sensitization or other respiratory symptoms. No differences were found for any of the studied characteristics in participants with lower exposure at follow-up compared to participants with similar or higher exposure at follow-up.

Conclusions: No major healthy worker survival is present in this organic dust exposed cohort. Differences between participants lost to follow-up and participants included in follow-up with regard to health characteristics are small and unlikely to explain the previously reported inverse associations between endotoxin exposure and atopy.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus