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versão impressa ISSN 0120-4157


GONZALEZ, Nubia et al. Spirometry in a population of coal miners in Paipa, Colombia. Biomédica [online]. 2017, vol.37, n.4, pp.498-506. ISSN 0120-4157.


Respiratory diseases resulting from exposure to particulate matter such as in coal mining remains a research challenge in this country and a public health issue. Spirometry is a basic test of fundamental respiratory function for the diagnosis and monitoring of these types of chronic lung diseases.


To determine spirometric values in the coal mining municipality of Paipa and their association with age and occupational exposure times.

Materials and methods:

We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional study. The occupational respiratory disease questionnaire of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) was completed while spirometric measurements were performed and interpreted in accordance with international recommendations for conducting the test.


The sample consisted of 226 coal mining workers of the municipality of Paipa. Twenty-eight

subjects (12.3%) of the sample showed patterns of obstructive and restrictive respiratory disease with mild degrees of severity. Eighty subjects (35%) showed a decrease in the forced vital capacity ratio/expiratory volume in one second (FVC/FEV1 ). A statistically significant association between age range (p=0.002) and years of mining work (p=0.34) with the development of restrictive and obstructive disorders was found. Also, there was a statistically significant association between age range (p<0.01) and years of mining work (p<0.01) with various degrees of severity of the spirometric pattern.


Spirometry is a useful test for detecting the presence of respiratory disorders in the population of coal miners. The time of exposure was significantly associated with the respiratory disease exhibited by these miners.

Palavras-chave : Spirometry; mining; coal; occupations; particulate matter; environmental exposure.

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