Case-by-case assessment of adult-onset asthma attributable to occupational exposures among members of a health maintenance organization.
Sama-SR; Milton-DK; Hunt-PR; Houseman-EA; Henneberger-PK; Rosiello-RA
J Occup Environ Med 2006 Apr; 48(4):400-407
Objective: In a general population of employed persons with health insurance, what proportion of adult-onset asthma is caused by occupational exposures? Method: We conducted a 2-year prospective study to identify adult-onset asthma among health maintenance organization (HMO) members. Telephone interviews regarding occupational exposures, symptoms, medication use, and triggers were used to assess likelihood of work-related asthma for each case. Weighted estimating equations were used to adjust the proportion of asthma attributable to workplace exposures for factors associated with interview participation. Results: Overall, 29% (95% confidence interval, 25-34%) of adult-onset asthma was attributable to workplace exposures; 26% (21-30%) and 22% (18-27%) of cases had asthma attributable to occupational irritant and sensitizer exposures, respectively. Conclusions: Occupational exposures, including irritants, are important causes of adult-onset asthma.
Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-irritants; Sensitization
Susan R. Sama, ScD, Harvard School of Public Health, Exposure, Epidemiology and Risk Program, 401 Park Drive, Box 15677, Landmark Center West, Room 428, Boston, MA 21286
Disease and Injury: Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Harvard University, School of Public Health - Boston