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Table 1 Selected characteristics, medical history and beliefs of study participants according to exposure category for health effect of oil spill in Karachi, Pakistan 2003

From: Acute health effects of the Tasman Spirit oil spill on residents of Karachi, Pakistan

Variables Exposed group Control group A Control group B  
  n % n % n % P a
Total 216 100 83 100 101 100  
Gender        
Female 123 57 50 60 52 52 0.47
Male 93 43 33 40 49 48  
Age group (years)        
15–30 95 44 20 24 64 63 <0.001
31–50 87 40 26 31 27 27  
>50 34 16 37 45 10 10  
Mean (SD) 35.5 (14.3) 45.5 (16.4) 31.2 (13.3) <0.001
Education (years)        
0 38 18 10 12 6 6 0.05
1–10 47 22 18 22 13 13  
11–12 44 20 17 21 23 23  
13–14 48 22 19 23 32 32  
>14 39 18 19 23 27 27  
Mean (SD) 10.3 (5.5) 12.7 (3.8) 11.0 (5.1) <0.001
Employment status        
Housewife 88 40.7 35 42.2 13 12.9 <0.001
Student 28 13.0 8 9.6 26 25.7  
Employed 100 46.3 40 48.2 62 61.4  
House on main road        
Yes 115 53 18 22 18 18 <0.001
No 101 47 65 78 83 82  
Smoking        
Yes 36 17 12 14 14 14 0.78
No 180 83 71 86 87 86  
Passive smoking        
Yes 46 21 15 18 17 17 0.60
No 170 79 68 82 84 83  
Allergy to chemicals        
Yes 59 27 22 26 17 17 0.12
No 157 73 61 74 84 83  
Allergy to dust        
Yes 78 36 32 39 26 26 0.12
No 138 64 51 61 75 74  
Allergy to pollen        
Yes 16 7 6 7 0 0 _
No 200 93 77 93 101 100  
Ever had wheezing        
Yes 18 8 9 11 5 5 0.33
No 198 92 74 89 96 95  
Ever had wheezing with shortness of breath        
Yes 13 6 6 7 3 3 0.40
No 203 94 77 93 98 97  
Belief that oil fumes can cause illness        
Yes 195 90 69 83 94 93 0.28
No 15 7 10 12 5 5  
Don't know 6 3 4 5 2 2  
Worried about effect of oil spill on health        
Yes 168 78 44 53 24 24 <0.001
No 48 22 39 47 77 76  
Fumes have affected health        
Yes 175 81 19 23 3 3 <0.001
No 41 19 64 77 98 97  
Mean number of ill household members (SD) 2.5 (2.2) 0.9 (1.9) 0.3 (0.8) <0.001
  1. a P, chi-square test comparing proportion between the groups or ANOVA (F test) comparing the means between the groups.