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Respiratory Illness and Allergy Related to Work and Home Environment among Commercial Pilots
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory Medicine and Allergology.
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2016 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 10, e0164954Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim was to study associations between work and home environment and prevalence and incidence of respiratory health and a history of atopy in a 3-y cohort of commercial pilots. A questionnaire was mailed in 1997 to all pilots in a Scandinavian airline company (N = 622); 577 (93%) participated. The same questionnaire was sent to the participants 3 years later, 436 participated (76%). There were questions on asthma, respiratory symptoms and infections, allergies, the cabin environment, psychosocial environment and the home environment. Associations were analyzed by multiple logistic regression, calculating odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). The incidence of doctors' diagnosed asthma and atopy were 2.4 and 16.6 per 1000 person years, respectively. Pilots changing type of flight during follow-up got more airway infections (OR = 11.27; 95% CI 2.39-53.14). Those reporting decreased work control (OR = 1.85; 95% CI 1.03-3.31 for 1 unit change) and those with environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) at home (OR = 3.73; 95% CI 1.09-12.83) had a higher incidence of atopy during follow up. Dampness or mould at home was associated with a higher prevalence of asthma symptoms (OR = 3.55; 95% CI 1.43-8.82) and airway infections (OR = 3.12 95% CI 1.27-7.68). Window pane condensation in winter at home, reported at baseline, was associated with increased incidence of asthma symptoms (OR = 4.14; 95% CI 1.32-12.97) and pilots living in newer buildings at baseline had a higher incidence of airway infections (OR = 5.23; 95% CI 1.43-19.10). In conclusion, lack of work control and ETS at home can be a risk factors for development of allergic symptoms in pilots. Window pane condensation at home can be a risk factor for incidence of asthma symptoms. Dampness and mould at home can be a risk factor for prevalence of asthma symptoms and airway infections and living in newer buildings can be a risk factor for incidence of airway infections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 10, e0164954
National Category
Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307536DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164954ISI: 000385507000084PubMedID: 27741314OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-307536DiVA: diva2:1047338
Available from: 2016-11-17 Created: 2016-11-17 Last updated: 2017-03-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Self-rated health and respiratory symptoms among civil aviation pilots: Occupational and non-occupational risk factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-rated health and respiratory symptoms among civil aviation pilots: Occupational and non-occupational risk factors
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is concern about the indoor environment in aircraft but few stud-ies exist on self-rated health (SRH) and respiratory symptoms among pilots. Occupational and non-occupational risk factors for SRH, respira-tory symptoms and other symptoms among commercial pilots were investigated in this thesis. One cohort study and one prevalence study were performed among pilots in one Scandinavian airline company. Fungal DNA, furry pet allergens and volatile organic compounds of microbial origin (MVOC) were measured on board. Cat (fel d1), dog (Can f1) and horse (Ecu cx) allergens were found in all dust samples and allergen levels were 27-75 times higher in aircraft with textile seats as compared to leather surfaces. The sum of MVOCs in the cabin air was 3.7 times higher than in homes in Uppsala and 2-methyl-1-butanol and 3-methyl-1-butanol concentrations were 15-17 times higher. Asper-gillus/Penicillium DNA and Aspergillus versicolor DNA were more common in aircraft with textile seats. One fifth reported SRH as poor or fair, 62% had fatigue, 46% overweight/obesity and 71% insomnia. Poor or fair SRH was associated with overweight/obesity, lack of exercise, insomnia, low sense of coherence (SOC) and high work demand. Re-covery from work was worse among those with insomnia and low social support at work. Fatigue was more common among young or female pilots and related to insomnia and high work demand. Pilots flying MD80 or Saab 2000 aircraft had less fatigue. Pilots exposed to environmental tobacco (ETS) on board had more eye symptoms and fatigue which were reduced after the ban of smoking (in 1997). Pilots with increased work demand developed more rhinitis, dermal symptoms and fartigue and those with decreased work control developed more eye symptoms. The incidence of doctors’ diagnosed asthma and atopy were 2.4 and 16.6 per 1000 person years, respectively. Pilots changing type of flight got more airway infections. Those reporting decreased work control had a higher incidence of atopy. Risk factors in the home environment included ETS, dampness or mould, window pane condensation in winter and living in houses built after 1975. In conclusion, SRH and respiratory health among pilots are associated with specific occupational and non-occupational risk factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2017. 79 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1323
Keyword
Civil Aviation, Aircraft pilot, Indoor environment, Self-rated health (SRH), Respiratory health, Asthma, Rhinitis, Headache, Fatigue, Insom-nia, Body mass index (BMI), Sense of Coherence (SOC), Psychosocial work environment, Quantitative PCR, Fungal DNA, Volatile organic compounds of microbial origin (MVOC), Cat allergen, Dog allergen, Horse allergen
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-318806 (URN)978-91-554-9880-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-05-22, Frödingsalen, Ulleråkersvägen 40, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-28 Created: 2017-03-28 Last updated: 2017-05-05

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