Purpose: Taxi drivers represent a large group of workers employed in the service sector of transport. Many studies found an increased risk of a range of health disorders in relation to their irregular work shifts, inappropriate diet, drinking and smoking habits and their high exposure to gasoline- and diesel-engine exhaust fumes. The aim of the present study was to assess the sample of a larynx from taxi drivers, considering symptoms and endoscopic signs of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) and precancerous lesions. Methods: Taxi drivers enrolled (n = 74) were questioned about their nicotine dependence using the Fagerstrom scale. The Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) was administered to screen LPR symptoms. Each subject underwent videolaryngoscopy with Reflux Finding Score (RFS) calculation. Data were compared with those obtained from the control group (n = 102). Results: Taxi drivers’ group did not show a significantly greater dependence on cigarette smoking (p < 0.05) based on the Fagerstrom scale. RSI resulted greater or equal to 13 (cut-off for reflux disease) for 28/74 (37.3%) taxi drivers and 14/102 (13.7%) controls, with a statistically significant difference between the two groups (p = 0.0015; OR = 3.14). RFS was greater or equal to 7 (95% certainty of having LPR) in 40/74 (53%) cases and 30/102 (29.4%) controls (p = 0.0010, OR = 2.82). Three taxi drivers (4%) had leucoplastic lesions of the vocal cords worthy of biopsy, which turned out to be infiltrating squamous cell carcinoma on histological examination. Conclusions: Taxi drivers resulted at risk of LPR and presented high-prevalence laryngeal precancerous lesions and carcinoma.
- Laryngeal precancerous lesions
- Laryngopharyngeal reflux
- Occupational health
- Taxi drivers