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Open Access Research article

Living environment and self assessed morbidity: a questionnaire-based survey

Asim Saha1*, Pradip Kulkarni2 and Habibullah Saiyed3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Occupational Medicine, National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, India

2 Department of Biostatistics, National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, India

3 National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, India

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:223  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-223

Published: 30 August 2007

Abstract

Background

Health complaints have been reported to be higher among the industrial area residents when compared with reference community.

Methods

Such reports being only a few, a questionnaire survey was conducted in three different areas (Industrial, Residential, Commercial) of Ahmedabad city of India to determine the pattern of morbidity and to do a comparative analysis of different areas within the city.

Results

A total of 679 families (243 from commercial, 199 from residential and 237 from industrial area) were included in this study. This study revealed that apart from presence of industry in close proximity to residence (99.2%), industrial area residents are having many other disadvantages from the point of view of public health like waste water stagnation (87.4%), problem of cooking smoke (33.2%) and presence of garbage dumps near residence (72.8%). Consequently, problems like coughing, wheezing, eye irritation, skin irritation, jaundice, asthma, and dental caries have been observed to be more common in industrial area. Comparative risk calculated in terms of odds ratio for different such problems have ranged from 1.83 to 6.2 when industrial area was compared with commercial area. Similarly on comparison of industrial area with residential area, odds ratio for different problems have ranged from 1.82 to 11.5.

Conclusion

This study has pointed out the need of separate planning and implementation of specific upliftment programs for addressing the environmental as well as public health issues of industrial localities.