Respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction in swine veterinarians: A persistent problem

C. I. Andersen, Susanna G. Von Essen, L. M. Smith, J. Spencer, Rika Jolie, Kelley J. Donham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective: There are many occupational hazards associated with the practice of swine veterinarians. To reassess the prevalence of respiratory complaints and pulmonary function abnormalities in this group. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted during the American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting. Subjects completed a respiratory symptom/work history questionnaire and performed spirometry. Results: Participants included 122 veterinarians (medianage = 42.5 years). Work-related symptoms included rhinitis symptoms (69%), cough and chest tightness (53%), wheezing (31%). Airway obstruction was seen in 24% of participants. Veterinarians with airway obstruction reported working more hours per week in hog barns than did practitioners with normal pulmonary function (P = 0.009). Conclusions: Respiratory symptoms were common in the swine veterinarians tested as was airway obstruction. The association with these findings and hog barn exposure suggests that working in these facilities is still a risk factor for airway disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Airway obstruction
  • Asthma-like syndrome
  • Rhinitis
  • Swine confinement
  • Veterinarians
  • Wheezing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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