A cross-sectional study was conducted on 116 male pre-cast construction workers in Sipitang, Sabah to evaluate the association between Ergonomic Risk Level exposure and their working performances for 6 months (June to November 2014). Initially, a structured interview using a modified-Standardized Nordic Questionnaire was conducted on each study subject to determine the prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). The results showed that 93 out of 116 subjects (80.17%) complained of experiencing ache, pain or body discomfort during and after work with high percentage of MSDs prevalence affecting the wrist (78.5%), shoulder (73.1%), and lower leg (71.0%) regions of the body. Pictures and videos of workers performing their routine tasks were analyzed using Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) tool to generate individual Ergonomic Risk Level classification. The results showed that all subjects were exposed to Medium (56.90%), High (29.31%) and Very High (13.79%) level of Ergonomic Risk. Pearson Correlation and One-way ANOVA test was conducted to determine the association between Ergonomic Risk Level and the subjects’ individual working performances. The results indicated that there was a significant negative association between Ergonomic Risk Level and the workers' performances in terms of tendency to work overtime (p
PURPOSE: Asthma is a global health problem, and asthma prevalence in Asia is increasing. The REcognise Asthma and LInk to Symptoms and Experience Asia study assessed patients' perception of asthma control and attitudes toward treatment in an accessible, real-life adult Asian population.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: An online survey of 2,467 patients with asthma from eight Asian countries/regions, aged 18-50 years, showed greater than or equal to two prescriptions in previous 2 years and access to social media. Patients were asked about their asthma symptoms, exacerbations and treatment type, views and perceptions of asthma control, attitudes toward asthma management, and sources of asthma information.
RESULTS: Patients had a mean age of 34.2 (±7.4) years and were diagnosed with asthma for 12.5 (±9.7) years. Half had the Global Initiative for Asthma-defined uncontrolled asthma. During the previous year, 38% of patients visited the emergency department, 33% were hospitalized, and 73% had greater than or equal to one course of oral corticosteroids. About 90% of patients felt that their asthma was under control, 82% considered their condition as not serious, and 59% were concerned about their condition. In all, 66% of patients viewed asthma control as managing attacks and 24% saw it as an absence of or minimal symptoms. About 14% of patients who correctly identified their controller inhalers had controlled asthma compared to 6% who could not.
CONCLUSION: Patients consistently overestimated their level of asthma control contrary to what their symptoms suggest. They perceived control as management of exacerbations, reflective of a crisis-oriented mind-set. Interventions can leverage on patients' trust in health care providers and desire for self-management via a new language to generate a paradigm shift toward symptom control and preventive care.
KEYWORDS: asthma control; attitudes; perception
OBJECTIVE: There are few studies on fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and respiratory symptoms among adults in tropical areas. The aim was to study associations between FeNO and selected personal factors, respiratory symptoms, allergies, office characteristics and indoor office exposures among office workers (n = 460) from a university in Malaysia.
METHODS: Information on health was collected by a questionnaire, skin prick test and FeNO measurement. Temperature, relative air humidity, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide were measured in the offices. Settled dust was vacuumed in the offices and analyzed for endotoxin, (1,3)-β-glucan and house dust mites allergens, namely Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 1) and Dermatophagoides farinae (Der f 1). Two-level linear mixed models and multiple logistic regression were used to analyze the associations.
RESULTS: One-fourth (25.9%) of the office workers had elevated FeNO level (≥ 25 ppb) and 61.5% had HDM, cat, seafood or pollen allergy. Male gender (p < 0.001), current smoking (p = 0.037), height (p < 0.001) and atopy (p < 0.001) were associated with FeNO. The amount of vacuumed dust was associated with FeNO among atopic subjects (p = 0.009). Asthma and rhinitis symptoms were associated with FeNO (p < 0.05), especially among atopic subjects. In particular, a combination of atopy and elevated FeNO were associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma (p < 0.001), rhinitis (p < 0.001) and airway symptoms last 12 months (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Gender, smoking, height and atopy are important risk factors for elevated FeNO levels. A combination of allergy testing and FeNO measurement could be useful in respiratory illness epidemiology studies and patient investigations in tropical areas.
KEYWORDS: Adults; Malaysia; allergy; office; respiratory symptoms; rhinitis; tropical areas