Association of air-conditioning with respiratory symptoms in office workers in tropical climate

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Graudenz, G. S.
Oliveira, C. H.
Tribess, A.
Mendes, C.
Latorre, MRDO
Kalil, J.
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To evaluate the association of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) and respiratory symptoms in a tropical city, self-administered questionnaires were given to 2000 individuals working in air-conditioned office buildings and to 500 control workers in naturally ventilated buildings. Reported symptoms from the two populations were analyzed using chi-square tests, univariate and multiple logistic regressions models. Symptoms were the outcome variable and the odds ratios were adjusted by gender, age, accumulated work time, smoking habits and atopic background. There was a 79.8% response rate and there was a positive association of nasal symptoms (odds ratio, OR = 1.59, 95% confidence interval, CI = 1.11-2.28), naso-ocular symptoms (OR = 1.58, 95% CI = 1.05-2.38), persistent cough (OR = 3.04, 95% CI = 2.00-4.63) sinusitis symptoms (OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.27-2.71) and building-related worsening of the symptoms (OR = 4.92, 95% CI = 2.93-8.27) with working in air-conditioned buildings. in conclusion, our study suggests that artificial air-conditioning is a matter of concern for respiratory symptoms in cities with hot and humid climate.
Indoor Air. Copenhagen: Blackwell Munksgaard, v. 15, n. 1, p. 62-66, 2005.