NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Lesson 13 - work-exacerbated asthma.

Henneberger PK
Pulm Crit Care Update 2009 Jul; 23:1-9
Asthma is a common disease with a lifetime prevalence of 13.1% and a current prevalence of 8.4% among adults in the United States. Exacerbation of asthma symptoms is also common; about half of those with current asthma experience an asthma attack each year. In the United States in 2004, asthma led to a considerable amount of health-care utilization among adults, including 7.7 million outpatient visits, more than 1.0 million emergency room visits, and 300,000 hospitalizations. Although such utilization is linked to high direct health costs, the indirect costs of adult asthma are also considerable, with a major component being attributable to the work impact of asthma. Statistics from around the world indicate that a high percentage of adults with asthma miss work in a 12-month period because of their asthma: 25% in the United States, 17% in Western Europe, 23% in Central and Eastern Europe, 27% in Asia-Pacific, and 30% in Japan. Actions that help reduce the adverse workplace impact of this disease are needed and would address a current gap in clinical practice as compared to recommended practice for the recognition and treatment of work-related morbidity. Moreover, exposures in the workplace are a potentially modifiable source of environmental conditions that can trigger asthma symptoms; intervening to reduce such triggers is a cornerstone of management recommended for asthma in general, although its application to the occupational environment also represents a practice gap that should be narrowed.
Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disease; Lung-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Author Keywords: asthma; exacerbation; occupational exposures; work-related
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article; Academic/Scholarly
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pulmonary and Critical Care Update
Page last reviewed: July 23, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division