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Incidence and Longitudinal Changes in Prevalence of Chronic Bronchitis in Farm and Non-Farm Rural Residents of Saskatchewan

Pahwa, Punam, PhD; Rana, Masud, MSc; Amin, Khalid, MSc; Chu, Luan M., MSc; Karunanayake, Chandima P., PhD; Dosman, James A., MD, FRCP

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 4 - p 347–356
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001560

Objective: To assess the predictors associated with incidence and longitudinal changes in the prevalence of chronic bronchitis (CB) among farm and non-farm residents of rural Saskatchewan, Canada.

Methods: The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study was a prospective study of the lung health of rural dwellers. We obtained information on 4624 households, 8261 individuals (2797 households, 4867 individuals) at baseline (follow-up).

Results: Incidence of CB was 4.3% over 4 years. The prevalence was 6.4% and 5.3% (baseline) and 12.1% and 9.2% (follow-up) in non-farm and farm residents, respectively. The prevalence of CB was associated with current smokers; father ever had lung trouble; obesity; mother smoked during pregnancy; allergic reaction to cats and to pollen; household income inadequacy and age.

Conclusion: Prevalence and incidence of CB in rural people appear to be a complex mix of personal and contextual factors.

Department of Community Health and Epidemiology (Dr Pahwa); Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (Dr Pahwa, Mr Rana, Mr Amin, Mr Chu, Dr Karunanayake, Dr Dosman), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.

Address correspondence to: Punam Pahwa, PhD, Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan, 104 Clinic Place, PO Box 23, Saskatoon, SK S7N 2Z4, Canada (

This study was funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research “Saskatchewan Rural Health Study,” Canadian Institutes of Health Research MOP-187209-POP-CCAA-11829.

Authors contributions: P.P. contributed substantially to the study design, acquisition of data and interpretation, and the writing of the manuscript. J.A.D. and C.P.K. contributed substantially to the study design and acquisition of data. M.R., K.A., and L.M.C. contributed to data analysis. L.M.C. assisted in writing a part of the discussion section.

Authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine