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Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2018 May-Aug;22(2):92-96. doi: 10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_32_18.

Impaired Pulmonary Lung Functions in Workers Exposed to Bagasse: Is Obesity an Added Risk?

Author information

Department of Physiology, NRI Institute of Medical Sciences, Sangivalasa, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Department of Physiology, Shri B. M. Patil Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, BLDE University, Bijapur, Karnataka, India.



Effect of obesity and dust exposure on lung functions.


To assess the pulmonary functions in asymptomatic, dust-exposed sugarcane factory workers with obesity as an added risk.

Settings and Design:

A cross-sectional study.

Materials and Methods:

The present study was conducted in one of the reputed sugarcane factories in Karnataka. One hundred and fifty asymptomatic male workers working in sugarcane factory were included in the study. Based on exposure to sugarcane dust and body mass index (BMI), subjects were categorized into normal weight (not exposed to sugarcane dust), overweight and obese (not exposed to sugarcane dust), and overweight and obese (exposed to sugarcane dust). Adiposity markers such as waist circumference and hip circumference were measured; waist hip ratio, waist stature ratio, and body fat% were calculated. Lung volumes such as forced vital capacity (FVC in L), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1 in L), forced expiratory flow during 25-75% of expiration (FEF25-75% in L/s), and FEV1/FVC%, peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR in L/min) were measured by digital spirometer.

Statistical Analysis Used:

Comparison between groups was done by one-way analysis of variance with post hoc analysis.


Significant lower values for FEV1 in obese and PEFR among overweight and obese exposed to dust compared to overweight and obese not exposed to dust.


We observed significant decrease in FEV1(L) in obese workers exposed to dust and significant lower PEFR (L/min) in overweight and obese workers exposed to dust, indicative of obstructive pattern of lung disease as a result of occupation-related sugarcane dust exposure in overweight and obese workers in whom already some lung functions are impaired owing to their BMI status, thus indicating that obesity is an added risk.


Body mass index; pulmonary functions; sugarcane factory workers

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