Chronic disease and health risk behaviors among rural agricultural workforce in Queensland

Article


Pinidiyapathirage, Janani, O’Shannessy, Megan, Harte, Jane, Brumby, Susan and Kitchener, Scott. 2018. "Chronic disease and health risk behaviors among rural agricultural workforce in Queensland." Journal of Agromedicine: interface of human health and agriculture. 23 (1), pp. 32-39. https://doi.org/10.1080/1059924X.2017.1387634
Article Title

Chronic disease and health risk behaviors among rural agricultural workforce in Queensland

ERA Journal ID124675
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsPinidiyapathirage, Janani (Author), O’Shannessy, Megan (Author), Harte, Jane (Author), Brumby, Susan (Author) and Kitchener, Scott (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Agromedicine: interface of human health and agriculture
Journal Citation23 (1), pp. 32-39
Number of Pages8
Year2018
Place of PublicationUnited States
ISSN1059-924X
1545-0813
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1059924X.2017.1387634
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1059924X.2017.1387634
Abstract

Introduction: Little is known of the lifestyle behaviors and prevalence of chronic disease in the Australian agricultural workforce. This study aimed to assess behavioral risk factors and the prevalence of chronic disease among attendees of agricultural events in rural Queensland.

Methods: Data on lifestyle risk factors and prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases were collected from participants in four separate cross-sectional studies in rural southern Queensland. Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, serum cholesterol, and glucose levels of consenting participants were assessed by trained medical students under the supervision of rural clinicians. Data were analyzed using SPSS 22 statistical software package and t-tests and chisquare tests were used to compare differences between groups.

Results: A total of 702 attendees participated; the majority were agricultural workers (n = 393). Greater psychological distress was reported among participants from these rural communities (42%) than in the Australian population (31%); however, levels of psychological distress was similar between agricultural workers and others in the sample. Fewer people in these agricultural communities reported smoking (10%), and they reported being more active (86%) than the average Australian, but a greater proportion reported high-risk alcohol consumption (53%) and were found to be hypertensive (31%). These findings were accentuated among agricultural workers.

Conclusion: This method of investigation both raises awareness in the community and identifies health risks for further management in a group that has otherwise been poorly defined. Resident agricultural workers have different health risks and behaviors, though psychological distress appears to be borne across these communities.

Keywordsagricultural workers; behavioral risk factors; chronic disease; rural Queensland
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420299. Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsAgricultural Health and Medicine Research Group
Griffith University
Deakin University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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