Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.
Results from a Ukrainian-US collaborative study: Prevalence and predictors of respiratory symptoms among Ukrainian coal miners†
Article first published online: 13 DEC 2011
Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Special Issue: Research Contributions from the United States International Training and Research in Environmental and Occupational Health Program: Part 1
Volume 55, Issue 12, pages 1099–1109, December 2012
How to Cite
Graber, J.M., Cohen, R.A., Basanets, A., Stayner, L.T., Kundiev, Y., Conroy, L., Mukhin, V.V., Lysenko, O., Zvinchuk, A. and Hryhorczuk, D.O. (2012), Results from a Ukrainian-US collaborative study: Prevalence and predictors of respiratory symptoms among Ukrainian coal miners. Am. J. Ind. Med., 55: 1099–1109. doi: 10.1002/ajim.21997
- Issue published online: 7 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 13 DEC 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 NOV 2011
- Fogarty International Center. Grant Number: D43 TW00653
- National Institutes on Environmental Health Services
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
- NIOSH Grant. Grant Number: T42 CCT510424-8
- American International Health Alliance/USAID
- US Department of Labor
- coal mining;
- respiratory symptoms
Underground coal mining is an expanding industry in Ukraine, yet little is known about the burden of respiratory disease among Ukrainian miners.
A Fogarty International Center-supported collaboration between researchers at the University of Illinois and the Institute of Occupational Health in Kyiv, Ukraine formed to improve capacity for conducting and monitoring medical surveillance among Ukrainian coal miners. A cross-sectional survey among a random sample of working and former miners was conducted; demographic, work, and health information were collected using a standardized questionnaire. Weighted prevalence rates were calculated and predictors of respiratory symptoms explored.
Improvements in infrastructure, including spirometry and chest radiography testing, transformed medical surveillance among these miners. Results from the health study included that the prevalence of respiratory symptoms was higher among former compared to current miners (shortness of breath 35.6% vs. 5.1%; chronic bronchitis 18.1% vs. 13.9%, respectively). A statistically significant exposure–response relationship was observed between years mining and respiratory symptoms in former miners and between years mining at the coal face and respiratory symptoms among current miners. Evidence of downward bias from the healthy worker survivor effect was observed.
This successful international collaboration built a sustainable infrastructure for conducting workplace medical surveillance and research. The resulting study was the first in the western literature to report on respiratory symptoms in this population; likely underestimation of disease rates due to selection and measurement biases was demonstrated. Efforts should continue to build this collaboration and to characterize and reduce respiratory illness among Ukrainian coal miners. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:1099–1109, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.