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Occupational Health Profile of Beedi Workers in Coastal Karnataka

Author:Madhusudan M, Dipak Patil, Jayaram S

Keywords:occupational diseases, tobacco, beedi workers, morbidity

Type:Original Article

Abstract:Background: In India there are close to 5 million beedi workers. Beedi rolling mainly leads to two types of occupational diseases, long hours of continuous sitting in an improper working posture and injurious effect of inhaling tobacco fume. Objective was to study the socio-demographic profile and morbidity profile of beedi workers. Methodology: A cross sectional study was done among beedi workers in urban field practice area of A.J. Institute of Medical Sciences from April 2010 to March 2011, which consisted of 1035 families with a total population of 4434. In a defined area house to house survey was done and all currently working beedi workers (at least from past 6 months) were included in study. A pretested semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data regarding socio demographic profile, work pattern and health problems after informed consent. The data was analysed using SPSS windows version 16.0 software. Results: The study comprised of 439 beedi workers, 431(98.2%) were females and 8 (1.8%) were males. Mean age of the study subjects was 40.8 years (SD 11.3), 98 (22%) subjects were illiterates.Average monthly beedi income was Rs.882.6 which contributes 14.3% of the household income. Out of 439 study subjects, 241(55%) were having illness at present and most common morbidity was musculoskeletal problem in 152(34.6%) study subjects. Conclusions: Majority were female beedi workers. Beedi rolling plays an important role in the household economy. Most common morbidity was musculoskeletal problem, followed by eye and respiratory problems.