A longitudinal study of the morbidity and nutritional status of workers employed in a garment factory | Joseph | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website
 

A longitudinal study of the morbidity and nutritional status of workers employed in a garment factory

Bobby Joseph, Christie Minj, Glenn Fernandes, Milan Marandi

Abstract


Objectives: To firstly assess the change in morbidity profile by comparing the recorded ailments of workers in a garment factory in a three year period and secondly to assess the change in their nutritional status (Body Mass Index) over a period of three years.

Methodology: Retrospective cohort study design was used. Data from the periodic health check up for these employees in 2005 and 2002 was compared. Data was analyzed for 187 employees (males 19; female 168) who were present for the health check up of both 2005 and 2002. The chi-square test and comparison of change in percentages were used to determine significance of change in BMI.

Results: Musculoskeletal ailments were the most common health problems in the garment factory. There was an increase in the number of workers with complaints of dental caries, refractive errors and respiratory ailments. There was an increase in the proportions of pre-obese, obese (class 1) and obese (class 2) workers and a decrease in the proportion of those underweight and normal. Analysis showed a significant increase in the Body Mass Index (BMI) of workers who were previously underweight (p=0.00), normal (p < 0.001) or pre-obese (p=0.03).

Conclusions: These findings, which are probably related to sedentary occupation, call for regular monitoring of BMI as well as dietary and lifestyle interventions for these workers. The findings also answer the call for factory-based interventions to improve workers health.


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