Discipline: Mathematics and Statistics
Subcategory: Mathematics and Statistics
Room: Park Tower 8211
Zairelys A. Reyes-Rivera - University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez Campus
Co-Author(s): Dr. Cristina Pomales-Garcia, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez Campus
In 2012, the United States Department of Agriculture Census identified 13,159 farms and 30,000 farm workers in Puerto Rico, who cultivated a variety of agricultural products including: coffee, pineapples, plantains, bananas, farinaceous, cattle and its derivatives, milk, and chicken meat. Currently, there is a dearth of information about health issues related to agricultural workers in Puerto Rico. Using clinical diagnostics, this research work will characterize the prominent health issues of Agricultural and Non-agricultural workers who received medical services at a local Outpatient Clinic in a 4-year period. Also, this research intends to document statistical evidence for group tendencies and personal risk factors associated to the prominent health issues identified. Using the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) as a reference for health conditions and ICD-10 codes from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, twelve health issues will be the focus of the study, including: allergies, asthma, cancer, cataracts, depression, diabetes, hypertension, sinusitis, skin burn, poisoning, kidney and heart conditions. Preliminary analysis for a one-year period of 4,686 patient records, show that 41.2% of agricultural workers had been diagnosed with at least one of the AHS conditions, in comparison to 39% of non-agricultural workers. In terms of total number of diagnostics, hypertension, diabetes and asthma were the most common health conditions diagnosed. With a corrected significance level of 0.002 for multiple Chi-square tests, only hypertension was significantly related to occupation status and gender. Also, the total number of hypertension diagnostics was significantly higher for agricultural workers and females, and asthma diagnostic was higher in females when compared to males. These findings are different from the literature, which mostly reported poisoning, allergies and skin diseases as the most common health issues faced by agricultural workers. On the other hand, our findings are comparable to a 2018 study that documented self-reported medical conditions of 100 agricultural workers on the island, where respiratory and cardiovascular conditions were the most common diseases reported among farm workers. The longitudinal data analysis will help to identify, besides obesity, trends amongst personal risk factors that may influence the higher level of hypertension, diabetes, asthma and cancer diagnosis identified within the agricultural worker population. This research study will provide relevant information for the future development of health and safety education and prevention programs for Latino agricultural workers in the island. Future work could explore trends amongst the relationship between personal factors and diagnostics related to pain and musculoskeletal disorders.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This material is based upon work supported by the Hospital General Castañer and the PR LSAMP.
Faculty Advisor: Cristina Pomales-Garcia, email@example.com