We explored respiratory symptoms in informal versus formal sector workers, in order to find out if there is a rational reason for selective care towards the latters.
Methodology: This was a transversal analytic study comparing spirometry parameters of 35 carpenters from informal sector activity to 35 controls from official sector, all males, matched for body surface area, in Douala town in Cameroon, from March to May 2015. We performed spirometries and clinical examinations. We analyzed data with SPSS V.22.
Results: The carpenters and controls showed respectively: average age was 35 vs 34 year; average years spent in function: 13 vs 9 years; systolic blood pressure: 120 vs 115 mmHg (p<0.05); diastolic blood pressure: 79 vs 76 mmHg; on spirometry, forced vital capacity: 92 vs 91; VEMS: 101 vs 96; VEMS/CVF: 108 vs 101; and PEF 91 vs 87. A negative correlation was found between duration on work in years and blood pressure in carpenters (R=- 0.37; p=0.029). A negative correlation was found in carpenters between length of stay at work in years and peak expiratory flow (R=-0.34; p=0.048).
Conclusions: The spirometry parameters are more altered in the carpenters compared to controls. There are no abnormalities exclusively present in formal sector workers that could justify their selective care. This study highlights the need for real attention to all workers in terms of preventing their health problems by authorities.
Francis NDE, Armel Djomo, Jules Nebo and Christophe De Brouwer