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Chest symptoms in farming communities with special reference to farmer's lung.
  1. D C Morgan,
  2. J T Smyth,
  3. R W Lister,
  4. R J Pethybridge,
  5. J C Gilson,
  6. P Callaghan,
  7. G O Thomas


    Surveys were carried out on random samples of the farming population in Devon and Wales in order to estimate the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and of positive precipitin reactions to thermophilic fungi. Bronchitis, as defined, was common among the Welsh hill farmers, and the proportion of positive serological tests was higher in both the areas surveyed in Wales as compared with Devon. All three surveys confirmed a previous finding that the proportion of positive precipitin tests was higher among non-smokers than smokers. Although the numbers were small there was some indication that measurement of peak expiratory flow showed different relationships with age in non-smokers according to the presence or absence of positive precipitin tests. The difficulty of determining prevalence rates for farmer's lung is discussed, but the results suggest a rate not dissimilar to those found in two areas of Scotland which were more than 20 times higher than any figure previously reported in Britain.

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