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Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011;18(2):310-3.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in farmers and agricultural workers - an overview.

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Chair of Internal Medicine and Department of Internal Medicine in Nursing, Medical University of Lublin, Poland.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by airflow obstruction that is not fully reversible. It is most often caused by smoking, but other factors including exposure to biological agents can play a significant role in its development. It is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among the adult population worldwide. In Poland, symptoms of chronic impairment of airflow are present in 8.5% of males and 4.9% of females. Livestock farmers have an increased risk of chronic bronchitis, COPD, and reduced forced expiratory volume (FEV1). COPD in farmers working inside confinement buildings is related to organic dust exposure and may become severe. The management of COPD is aimed at improving the patient's quality of life and functional status. Currently, apart from lung transplantation, there is no treatment that would significantly improve lung function and decrease mortality. This led us to the conclusion that we should study the problem further, and cautiously monitor patients to help efforts aimed at the prevention of respiratory diseases among farmers and agricultural workers.

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