Faculty of Public Health - Andalas University - OCS, 13th IEA SEA Meeting and ICPH - SDev

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Hydration Status and Practices in Predicting Heat Related Illness (HRI) Among Outdoor Workers During The 2016 El Nino Episode In Malaysia
Zawiah Mansor, Jamal Hisham Hashim, Noor Hassim Ismail, Rosnah Ismail

Last modified: 2018-08-18


Background : Dehydration in heat stress environment is a dangerous combination to life-threatening heat stroke. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of heat related illness (HRI) and highlighting importance of hydration status and practices among outdoor workers in Malaysia during the 2016 El Nino episode.

Materials and methods : A  cross sectional study was conducted among solid waste management workers from March to April 2016. It involved a workplace Wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) measurement and questionnaire survey. Rasch analysis was used to categorize HRI. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted .


Results : Average WBGT was 30.5°C (SD=0.53) and indicates high risk of HRI based on threshold limit value (TLV). A total of 320 respondents were interviewed. The prevalence of HRI was 44.1%. Dehydrated person (OR : 3.40, 95% CI : 1.97;5.86), hydration practices of consuming other than plain water (OR: 5.48, 95% CI : 2.62;11.44) and irregular fluid intake (OR : 15.02, 95% CI : 3.91;57.59) have higher odds in having HRI. Other predictors were history of HRI and WBGTeff.


Conclusions : Outdoor workers in Malaysia were at high risk of HRI. Hydration status monitoring and good hydration practices can reduce risk of occupational HRI.


Keywords  : heat related illness, heat stress, hydration, climate change, El Nino