open access

Vol 71, No 3 (2020)
Original article
Published online: 2020-09-28
Submitted: 2020-07-14
Accepted: 2020-08-12
Get Citation

The changes in pulmonary functions in occupational divers: smoking, diving experience, occupational group effects

Kubra Ozgok-Kangal, Kubra Canarslan-Demır, Taylan Zaman, Kemal Sımsek
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2020.0036
·
Pubmed: 33001433
·
International Maritime Health 2020;71(3):201-206.

open access

Vol 71, No 3 (2020)
HYPERBARIC/UNDERWATER MEDICINE Original article
Published online: 2020-09-28
Submitted: 2020-07-14
Accepted: 2020-08-12

Abstract

Background: Diving challenges the respiratory system because of the pressure changes, breathing gases, and cardiovascular effects. We aimed to analyse the long term effect of occupational diving on pulmonary functions in terms of diving experience (year), smoking history, and occupational groups (commercial divers and SCUBA instructors).
Materials and methods: We retrospectively analysed respiratory system examination results of the experienced occupational divers who were admitted to the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Department for periodic medical examination between January 1, 2013 and February 28, 2019.
Results: Sixty-four divers applied to our department. Candidate divers were not included in our study. The mean diving experience (year) was 13.6 ± 7.3. None of the divers complained of pulmonary symptoms. Pulmonary auscultation and chest radiography were normal in all cases. In divers with 20 years or more experience, the FEV1/FVC ratio and FEF25–75(%) was significantly lower (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, respectively). In addition, there was a statistically significant negative correlation between FEV1/FVC ratio and FEF25–75(%) and diving experience (year) (p < 0.05, r = –0.444, p < 0.05, r = –0.300, respectively). As the diving experience increase per 1 year, the FEF25–75(%) value decreases by 1.04% according to linear regression analyses. However, smoking and occupational groups did not show any significant influence on pulmonary function test parameters.
Conclusions: Occupational diving seems to create clinically asymptomatic pulmonary function test changes related to small airway obstruction after long years of exposure.

Abstract

Background: Diving challenges the respiratory system because of the pressure changes, breathing gases, and cardiovascular effects. We aimed to analyse the long term effect of occupational diving on pulmonary functions in terms of diving experience (year), smoking history, and occupational groups (commercial divers and SCUBA instructors).
Materials and methods: We retrospectively analysed respiratory system examination results of the experienced occupational divers who were admitted to the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Department for periodic medical examination between January 1, 2013 and February 28, 2019.
Results: Sixty-four divers applied to our department. Candidate divers were not included in our study. The mean diving experience (year) was 13.6 ± 7.3. None of the divers complained of pulmonary symptoms. Pulmonary auscultation and chest radiography were normal in all cases. In divers with 20 years or more experience, the FEV1/FVC ratio and FEF25–75(%) was significantly lower (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, respectively). In addition, there was a statistically significant negative correlation between FEV1/FVC ratio and FEF25–75(%) and diving experience (year) (p < 0.05, r = –0.444, p < 0.05, r = –0.300, respectively). As the diving experience increase per 1 year, the FEF25–75(%) value decreases by 1.04% according to linear regression analyses. However, smoking and occupational groups did not show any significant influence on pulmonary function test parameters.
Conclusions: Occupational diving seems to create clinically asymptomatic pulmonary function test changes related to small airway obstruction after long years of exposure.

Get Citation

Keywords

diving, respiratory, pulmonary function, occupational health, occupational diving, commercial divers

About this article
Title

The changes in pulmonary functions in occupational divers: smoking, diving experience, occupational group effects

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 71, No 3 (2020)

Article type

Original article

Pages

201-206

Published online

2020-09-28

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2020.0036

Pubmed

33001433

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2020;71(3):201-206.

Keywords

diving
respiratory
pulmonary function
occupational health
occupational diving
commercial divers

Authors

Kubra Ozgok-Kangal
Kubra Canarslan-Demır
Taylan Zaman
Kemal Sımsek

References (25)
  1. Tetzlaff K, Thomas PS. Short- and long-term effects of diving on pulmonary function. Eur Respir Rev. 2017; 26(143).
  2. Wingelaar TT, Clarijs P, van Ooij PJAm, et al. Modern assessment of pulmonary function in divers cannot rely on old reference values. Diving Hyperb Med. 2018; 48(1): 17–22.
  3. Edmonds C, Bennett M, Lippmann J, Mitchell SJ. (eds) Diving and Subaquatic Medicine 5th Edition. CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL 2016.
  4. Mirasoğlu B, Özen Ş, Aktaş Ş. The effects of short term SCUBA diving on respiratory functions. Int J Sport, Exercise Training Scien. 2018: 105–113.
  5. Skogstad M, Thorsen E, Haldorsen T, et al. Divers’ pulmonary function after open-sea bounce dives to 10 and 50 meters. 1996; 23: 71–75. Undersea Hyperb Med. 1996.
  6. Wilson A. Prevalence and characteristics of lung function changes in recreational scuba divers. Prim Care Respir J. 2011; 20(1): 59–63.
  7. Thorsen E, Segadal K, Kambestad BK. Mechanisms of reduced pulmonary function after a saturation dive. Eur Respir J. 1994; 7(1): 4–10.
  8. Thorsen E, Segadal K, Stuhr LE, et al. No changes in lung function after a saturation dive to 2.5 MPa with intermittent reduction in Po2 during decompression. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006; 98(3): 270–275.
  9. Shopov NG. Study of the changes in respiratory function in self-contained underwater breathing apparatus divers. Int Marit Health. 2019; 70(1): 61–64.
  10. Pougnet R, Pougnet L, Henckes A, et al. Evolution of the respiratory function of professional divers over 15 years. Int Marit Health. 2019; 70(2): 119–124.
  11. Skogstad M, Thorsen E, Haldorsen T. Lung function over the first 3 years of a professional diving career. Occup Environ Med. 2000; 57(6): 390–395.
  12. Voortman M, van Hulst R. Pulmonary function changes in Navy divers during their professional careers. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2016; 43: 649–657.
  13. Sames C, Gorman DF, Mitchell SJ, et al. Long-term changes in spirometry in occupational divers: a 10-25 year audit. Diving Hyperb Med. 2018; 48(1): 10–16.
  14. Ergun DD, Karis D, Alkan FA, et al. Effects of cigarette smoking on hemorheologic parameters, plasma osmolality and lung function. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2016; 63(4): 313–324.
  15. Sekulic D, Tocilj J. Pulmonary function in military divers: smoking habits and physical fitness training influence. Mil Med. 2006; 171(11): 1071–1075.
  16. Chong SJ, Tan TW, Lim JY. Changes in lung function in Republic of Singapore Navy. Diving Hyperb Med. 2008; 38: 68–70.
  17. Smoking prevelance, total (ages +15) Databank World Development Indicators . https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.PRV.SMOK (cited 2020 March 25).
  18. Pougnet R, Pougnet L, Lucas D, et al. Longitudinal change in professional divers' lung function: literature review. Int Marit Health. 2014; 65(4): 223–229.
  19. Crosbie WA, Clarke MB, Cox RA, et al. Physical characteristics and ventilatory function of 404 commercial divers working in the North Sea. Br J Ind Med. 1977; 34(1): 19–25.
  20. Crosbie WA, Reed JW, Clarke MC. Functional characteristics of the large lungs found in commercial divers. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1979; 46(4): 639–645.
  21. Adir Y, Shupak A, Laor A, et al. Large lungs in divers: natural selection or a training effect? Chest. 2005; 128(1): 224–228.
  22. Godden D, Currie G, Denison D, et al. British Thoracic Society guidelines on respiratory aspects of fitness for diving. Thorax. 2003; 58(1): 3–13.
  23. Skogstad M, Skare O. Pulmonary function among professional divers over 12 years and the effect of total number of dives. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2008; 79(9): 883–887.
  24. Ulubay G, Dilektaşlı AG, Börekçi Ş, et al. Turkish Thoracic Society Consensus Report: Interpretation of Spirometry. Turk Thorac J. 2019; 20(1): 69–89.
  25. Clanton TL, Dixon GF, Drake J, et al. Effects of swim training on lung volumes and inspiratory muscle conditioning. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1987; 62(1): 39–46.

Important: This website uses cookies. More >>

The cookies allow us to identify your computer and find out details about your last visit. They remembering whether you've visited the site before, so that you remain logged in - or to help us work out how many new website visitors we get each month. Most internet browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can change the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer.

By "Via Medica sp. z o.o." sp.k., ul. Świętokrzyska 73, 80–180 Gdańsk

tel.:+48 58 320 94 94, faks:+48 58 320 94 60, e-mail:  viamedica@viamedica.pl