Exposure risks and tetanus immunization status in farmers ages 50 and over

Deborah B. Reed, Susan C. Westneat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Despite an effective tetanus vaccine, tetanus continues to claim lives worldwide. The very young and the elderly are at highest risk for the disease. Farmers are at high risk for injury, the leading factor associated with tetanus. METHODS: As part of a larger study of older members of farm households in the southern United States, 595 participants provided data on health, injuries, work, socioeconomic status, and healthcare. RESULTS: 69% reported receiving a tetanus booster in the past ten years, 24% had not, and 7% did not know. Females were less likely to be currently immunized. There was no association between immunization status and age, income, or race. There were associations between farm tasks, farm work-related injury, and immunization. CONCLUSIONS: Older farmers are at risk for tetanus by virtue of their age and work environment. Health care providers should explore strategies to improve immunization status among this work group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-255
Number of pages5
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Farmers
  • Immunization
  • Injury
  • Tetanus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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