Document Type



Community Health Sciences


Objective: To determine the prevalence of asthma in textile workers through post-bronchodilator spirometry and to compare the differences in prevalence based on different criteria used to assess asthma.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted between July and December 2013 in Karachi, Pakistan, and comprised workers from15 textile mills in the city and its outskirts. Asthma and associated respiratory symptoms were assessed using the American Thoracic Society Division of Lung Diseases Questionnaire, and post-bronchodilator spirometry. SPSS 19 was used for statistical analysis.
Results: Among the 372 workers in the study, asthma was found in 19(5%) as diagnosed on post-bronchodilator spirometry. The prevalence of self-reported and physician-diagnosed asthma was 15(4%) and 8(2%) respectively. Work in the spinning section, age ≥38 years, duration of work ≥10 years in textile industry, history of smoking, and ≥10 pack years of smoking were found to be important predictors of asthma.
Conclusions: Textile industry workers had low prevalence of asthma, assessed through post-bronchodilator spirometry, compared to estimates for the general population. This could possibly be due to some protective effect of endotoxin exposure although further evaluation with better exposure assessment is warranted.


JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association