Department of Public Health Sciences

Study of Agricultural Lung Disease (SALUD)

This is a cross-sectional study of respiratory function and paraquat exposure among agricultural workers in Costa Rica. The study includes two components: (1) an exposure assessment component, and (2) an epidemiological study with interviewer administered questionnaires and pulmonary function testing, including single breath diffusion capacity and oxygen desaturation testing. The specific aims of the study are to:

  1. Administer a questionnaire on work history, demographics and health outcomes to at least 450 current farm workers.
  2. Measure pulmonary function including diffusion capacity among farm workers in the sample.
  3. Measure oxygen desaturation using exercise oximetry in the sample of farm workers.
  4. Measure current paraquat exposure by biological markers in a subset of current farm workers.
  5. Characterize current and cumulative paraquat exposure among farm workers, based on work histories and exposure assessment results.
  6. Evaluate possible independent association of cumulative long-term paraquat exposure with respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function in study subjects.