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Addressing under-reporting and under recognition of work-related asthma in state based surveillance.

Filios MS; Rosenman KD; Flattery J; Brissette IF
4th National Asthma Conference: Winning with Asthma, April 14-16, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004 Apr; :22
Background: Work-related asthma (WRA) is defined as asthma caused or exacerbated by workplace exposures. The American Thoracic Society has estimated that 15% of adult asthma is attributable to workplace factors. Although physician reports represent the primary source of case-identification, physicians' under recognition and under-reporting of WRA is well documented. NIOSH-funded state surveillance and intervention programs are adopting various approaches to improve reporting and assess the extent of WRA. Objective: To highlight information on under reporting identified using sentinel WRA surveillance, results from population-based WRA surveillance, and intervention efforts within a NIOSH-funded state. Method: Different approaches to WRA surveillance and intervention that enhance physician-based surveillance systems will be presented. Michigan will present information on the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and/or a physician diagnosis of asthma among 8,200 workers at 439 companies. Questionnaire results will be compared with employer-maintained statistics. California will present results of WRA questions added to the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) questionnaire in California, Massachusetts, and Michigan. New York will present results of eight physician focus groups that shaped the development of their WRA toolkit. Result: Collectively, the presentations described identified additional cases of WRA through follow-up of sentinel WRA case coworkers, provide an estimate of the proportion of adult asthma in California, Massachusetts, and Michigan that may be work-related, and identified and addressed barriers to physician reporting. Conclusion: The results demonstrate the benefit of a multifaceted approach for assessing the burden of WRA and its prevention.
Surveillance-programs; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disease; Lung-disorders; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis
Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Surveillance Branch, U.S. PHS, CDC/NIOSH, M/S H-G900.2, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
4th National Asthma Conference: Winning with Asthma, April 14-16, 2004, Atlanta, Georgia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division