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Respiratory symptoms among Swedish soldiers after military service abroad: association with time spent in a desert environment
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
2017 (English)In: European Clinical Respiratory Journal, ISSN 1018-7111, E-ISSN 1803-8417, Vol. 4, 1327761Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The aim of this paper was to study whether Swedish soldiers who have served abroad had a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms than the general population and, if this was the case, also to study whether this was associated with time spent in a desert environment. Methods: The prevalence of respiratory symptoms among 1,080 veterans from Kosovo and Afghanistan was compared with that in almost 27,000 subjects from a general population sample, using propensity score matching and logistic regression. Results: The prevalence of wheeze (16.3 vs. 12.3%), wheeze without a cold (11.1 vs. 8.0%), nocturnal coughing (26.6 vs. 20.1%) and chronic bronchitis (12.3 vs. 6.8%) was significantly higher among soldiers than controls (p < 0.05). A dose-response-related association was found between time spent in a desert environment and wheeze, wheeze with breathlessness and wheeze when not having a cold. Having been exposed to desert storms was related to nocturnal cough and chronic bronchitis. Conclusion: Swedish soldiers who had served abroad had a higher prevalence of wheeze and cough than a control group from the general population. The association between being exposed to a desert environment and respiratory symptoms indicates that further protective measures should be introduced for military personnel serving in a desert environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017. Vol. 4, 1327761
Keyword [en]
Asthma, wheeze, cough, military, desert
National Category
Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-137400DOI: 10.1080/20018525.2017.1327761ISI: 000403156300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-137400DiVA: diva2:1120111
Available from: 2017-07-05 Created: 2017-07-05 Last updated: 2017-07-05Bibliographically approved

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