Does home heat index predict hydration level of agricultural workers in Florida? Open Access
Shelly, Sandeep (Spring 2018)
Background: Agricultural workers frequently labor in hot and humid conditions, increasing their risk of heat-related illness (HRI). Various HRIs are related to previous episodes of hypohydration. Previous findings from the Girasoles study indicate that over 50% of agricultural workers begin their work shift hypo hydrated. To our knowledge, the impact of housing characteristics and home temperature on dehydration level in agricultural workers has not yet been investigated. The objective of this study was to examine the association of indoor heat index during the post-workday recovery period, on next day hydration status of agricultural workers.
Methods: The Girasoles study is a prospective cohort study aimed to evaluate heat stress and HRI in agricultural workers recruited from three different Florida communities. A total of 198 workers were recruited for a baseline assessment and were monitored for three workdays. Ambient temperature and relative humidity at home was measured with EL-USB -2 Lacar Humidity and Temperature USB that workers brought home and placed in their bedrooms. Indoor heat index (primary exposure) was computed from temperature and relative humidity. Pre-work shift urine samples were collected to measure urine specific gravity (USG). USG ≥ 1.020 was used to define significant hypohydration. Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the association between indoor heat index and pre-workday dehydration. The model was adjusted for sex, house type and presence of air conditioning in the house.
Results: No association was found between indoor heat index and significant hypohydration (OR =0.97; CI: 0.93-1.02) controlling for sex, house type and presence of air conditioning in the house.
Conclusion: There was no relationship between indoor heat index and hydration status of the agricultural workers.
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