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Chronic arsenic poisoning and respiratory effects in Bangladesh
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
2001 (English)In: Journal of Occupational Health, ISSN 1341-9145, Vol. 43, no 3, 136-140 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A large population in Bangladesh have been exposed to naturally occurring inorganic arsenic through their drinking water. A prevalence comparison study of respiratory disorders among subjects with and without arsenic exposure through drinking water was conducted in Bangladesh. Characteristic skin lesions, keratoses and pigmentation alteration, and the water arsenic level confirmed the arsenic exposure. Three villages were selected from health awareness campaign programs. Participants in these courtyard meetings who had suspected skin lesions, i.e., keratosis, hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, were examined by a well-trained medical officer to confirm the diagnosis. Unexposed subjects were randomly selected from another village, where tubewells were not contaminated with arsenic. We interviewed and examined 218 individuals irrespective of age and sex from these villages. The arsenic level in their drinking water was measured and the mean arsenic level was 614 ╡g/l (ranging from 136 ╡g/l to 1,000 ╡g/l). Information regarding respiratory system signs and symptoms was also collected. There were few smokers, and analyses were therefore confined to nonsmokers. The overall crude prevalence (or risk) among the exposed subjects for chronic cough, and chronic bronchitis, was three times the prevalence in the control population. Age was a slightly negative confounding factor. The crude prevalence ratios were noticeably increased for female participants compared to male participants. A possible explanation for this noticeably increased occurrence of respiratory signs and symptoms in women is related to the presence of weakness. These results add to the evidence that longterm ingestion of arsenic can cause respiratory problems especially among females.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 43, no 3, 136-140 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26082Local ID: 10541OAI: diva2:246630
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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