Health outcomes of patients presenting with symptoms related to non-industrial indoor work environments.
Sircar-KD; Stowe-MH; Addorisio-MR; Dangman-KH; Schenck-P; Storey-E; Redlich-CA
Proc Am Thorac Soc 2005 May; 2(Abstracts):A818
Increased risk of nonspecific symptoms and asthma has been associated with non-industrial indoor work environments, with much focus on causative factors. Little is known about the longer-term health and socioeconomic outcomes of patients with building-related symptoms. We performed a retrospective longitudinal study of patients who presented with symptoms related to a non-industrial work environment to characterize health and socioeconomic outcomes. 130 patients seen at Yale or University of Connecticut Occupational Health Clinics between 1997 and 2002 completed a telephone survey to assess current symptoms and health, home and work modifications, and job status a mean of 3.6 years after initial evaluation. The most common presenting symptoms were respiratory and irritant (>90% patients) and neurologic (60% patients). Over 75% patients reported onset of symptoms following a specific office renovation or move. 57% had current asthma, 73% of whom were diagnosed after the trigerring event. About 70% reported their overall health had improved at follow-up, although over 70% had persistent symptoms that interfered with activities. Of note, it often took several years for symptoms to resolve (mean 4.1 yrs), and substantial modifications to lifestyle, work and home environments were made in about 80%. Asthmatics had a higher prevalence of respiratory symptoms and lower prevalence of nonspecific symptoms, and were more likely to make modifications in their home and work environments. Patients with building-related symptoms have symptoms and modified life styles which can persist long after the initial office event.
Workers; Work-environment; Worker-health; Occupational-health; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Bronchial-asthma; Respiratory-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Environmental-factors
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Issue of Publication
Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society. 2005 ATS International Conference, May 20-25, 2005, San Diego, California