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Abstract

RISK FACTORS INVOLVED IN ELEVATION OF ASTHMA INCIDENCE AMONG OIL AND GAS REFINERIES WORKERS IN KIRKUK, IRAQ

Mohemid M Al-Jebouri* and Zheeno N Taha

ABSTRACT

Background: There is no universally accepted definition of asthma. Asthma is a syndrome characterized by airflow obstruction. Asthmatics host a special type of inflammation in the airway mucosa that makes them more responsive to a wide range of triggers compared to non asthmatics, leading to excessive narrowing with the consequent reduced airflow, symptomatic dyspnea and wheezing, that is usually reversible. Asthma might be associated with various risk or predisposing factors like genetics and family history, body mass index, smoking, stress, respiratory infections, age, gender, occupation and education level and others might be still unkown. The present study was an attempt to assess the relationships of asthma and selected predisposing factors among the Iraqi asthmatic patients working in gas and oil refinaries in Kirkuk district. Methods: Patients previously diagnosed with asthma by physician were chosen. The inclusion criteria for all cases were bronchial asthma, where the diagnosis was established through demonstrating reversible airway obstruction. The participants were requested to fill in a questionnaire for identifying their demographic characteristics such as age, gender, asthma history, medical history and details related to current asthma exacerbation. Body mass index was also considered. Results: The results of North Oil and Gas Company asthmatic patients, Other asthmatic patients and control group revealed high levels of incidence of asthma according to males, family with no asthmatic history and nonsmokers and the variations were mostly statisticaly significant( P > 0.01 ).The study of education,age,body mass index and occupation showed a variable effect on asthma induction among different three groups estimated. Conclusions: There was no association between asthma and smoking and body mass index. Gender, family history and occupation were highly effective factors causing an induction of asthma in the patients locally studied.

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