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Frequently Reported Health Conditions among Migrant Farmworkers in Southern Georgia
140th APHA Annual Meeting (2012)
  • John S. Luque, Georgia Southern University
  • Carlos Reyes-Ortiz, Georgia Southern University
  • Prasen Marella, Georgia Southern University
  • Angel Bowers, Georgia Southern University
  • Lisa Anderson, Georgia Southern University
  • Viral Panchal, Georgia Southern University
  • Simone M. Charles, Georgia Southern University
Background: Agricultural labor involves exposure to many occupational hazards, some of which can lead to chronic health conditions. The purpose of the current study was to conduct an occupational health needs assessment of illnesses and work-related injuries among a Latino migrant farmworker population in Georgia harvesting onions. Methods: This study was conducted in two phases. In Phase 1, a cross-sectional survey was administered to a convenience sample of 100 farmworkers attending mobile clinics in 2010. The interviewers surveyed the farmworkers using a shorter adapted version of the California Agricultural Worker Health Survey. For the survey data, bivariate analyses with relevant variables were used to identify associations for additional multivariable analyses. In Phase 2, a database containing medical screening information collected over three years (2009-11) for 1,445 patients was accessed and analyzed. Frequency counts were calculated from the screening data to identify prevalent health conditions. Results: The main health conditions reported in the survey were: hypertension (25%), eye problems (12%), musculoskeletal problems (11%), diabetes (10%), and depression (7%). Higher depression scores were associated with having a history of musculoskeletal problems (p<.001). For the screening data, the most common medical diagnoses included hypertension (11.0%), back pain (10.4%), gastrointestinal disorders (9.3%), eye problems (6.5%), musculoskeletal problems (6.3%), and tinea/fungal skin infections (5.6%). Of the major diagnostic categories, only back pain exhibited an increasing trend over the three-year period (from 6.5% to 15.4%). Conclusion: The study identified eye and musculoskeletal problems, including back pain, as potential targets for future occupational safety intervention studies. Learning Areas: Clinical medicine applied in public health; Occupational health and safety; Provision of health care to the public; Public health or related research Learning Objectives: 1. Assess the value of comparing medical chart data with survey data on health problems among migrant farmworkers. 2. Identify potential research opportunities from partnering with mobile free clinics.
  • Migrant farm workers,
  • Occupational health
Publication Date
October 29, 2012
Citation Information
John S. Luque, Carlos Reyes-Ortiz, Prasen Marella, Angel Bowers, et al.. "Frequently Reported Health Conditions among Migrant Farmworkers in Southern Georgia" 140th APHA Annual Meeting (2012)
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