Lung functions among Traffic and Non-traffic police officers in Colombo Division
Objectives: Police officers spend much of their working hours on the roads exposing themselves to polluted air and thus at a higher risk of developing impairment in respiratory functions. Among them, traffic police officers are the people who work in heavy traffic roads in capital city Colombo most of their hours. The aim of this study was to compare lung function among traffic & non traffic police officers
Methods: Lung function of 100 Traffic police officers and 100 Non traffic police officers randomly selected from the Colombo division. Self administered questionnaire was used to gather socio-economic data and respiratory symptoms and anthropometric parameters were measured. Respiratory functions were measured using the mini-spirometer.
Results: The traffic police officers (100, males) and non traffic police officers (100 males) were comparable in age and body mass index to non traffic police officers. Traffic police officers had a significantly reduced FEF 75%value (mean±SD6.04±2.83 versus 6.23±2.43, p=0.041), FEV1 (p=0.008), FVC (p=0.001), FEV1/FVC ratio, PEFR (p=0.001). There was no significant difference between two groups in other lung function parameters [FEF25%(p=0.13),FEF50%(p=0.37),MMEF(p=0.38)].There was also a significant difference in the prevalence of eczema (p=0.022)and allergic rhinitis (p=0.009) among the two groups with higher prevalence among traffic police officers.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that there is an association in lung function deterioration in traffic police officers compared to non traffic police officers possibly due to their more exposure to polluted air and prevalence of eczema and allergic rhinitis are also high among traffic police officers.