Individual and occupational characteristics associated with respiratory symptoms among Latino horse farm workers

Jennifer E Swanberg, Jessica Miller Clouser, Wenqi Gan, David M Mannino, John C Flunker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Latino workers are likely exposed to a variety of respiratory hazards in the horse barn, yet the potential impact of these exposures on respiratory health has not been investigated.

METHODS: Using a community-based sample of 225 Latino horse farmworkers we investigated the prevalence of upper and lower respiratory symptoms and occupational characteristics associated with them. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with respiratory symptomology.

RESULTS: Upper respiratory symptoms prevalence ranged from 24% to 45%. Half of workers reported lower respiratory symptoms. Workers with symptoms were more likely to be female and have lower levels of English understanding. Workers who never/rarely used dust masks while working in the barn experienced over two times the odds of reporting upper respiratory symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Many Latino horse workers experienced upper and lower respiratory symptoms. Dust mask use may protect workers in this and other enclosed livestock operations from respiratory symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-87
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases/epidemiology
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Dust
  • Farmers
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masks/statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases/epidemiology
  • United States


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