Dental students are at high risk of developing adverse respiratory reactions as a result of their practical work during their dentistry degree program when they come into contact with multiple airborne irritants and allergens.
To estimate the prevalence of respiratory symptoms of exposure to substances in the workplace and associated risk factors in Bulgarian dental students.
The prevalence of self-reported respiratory symptoms related to the pre-clinical and clinical training courses of the dentistry program was 12.4%. According to logistic regression analysis, the most important risk factors for work-related respiratory symptoms were a personal history of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (odds ratio (OR) 6.34, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.14-12.78), atopic dermatitis (OR 2.81, 95%CI: 1.26-6.26), and exposure to chemicals from dental environment for more than 6 hours a day (OR 3.60, 95%CI: 1.21-10.70).
The results of this study suggest that work-related respiratory symptoms are frequent among dental students and indicate the need for efforts to establish effective primary preventive programs for occupational respiratory disorders at national level.
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