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Surveillance of work-related asthma in four U.S. states, 1993-1995.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health Occupational Health Surveillance Program
SENSOR Occup Lung Dis Bull 1999 Jul; :1-2
Since 1992, Massachusetts and three other states (California, Michigan and New Jersey) have conducted state-based surveillance and intervention programs for work-related asthma (WRA) as part of the SENSOR program funded by NIOSH. Data collected by these states over a 3 year period were summarized in an article recently published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). In this issue of the Bulletin, key findings from that report are presented. The primary data source for all four states is physician reports. All four states have mandatory physician reporting of occupational diseases, including work-related asthma (WRA). Physician case reports are actively solicited in Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey. California has a passive surveillance system based on Doctor's First Reports (DFRs) of Occupational Injury or Illness - a long-standing, statewide physician reporting system directly linked to physician reimbursement of medical services. Surveillance staff administer follow-up questionnaires to patients with suspected WRA to collect information about their reported conditions (e.g., the association with workplace exposures and the industry and occupation of the affected person). Surveillance findings are used to direct intervention and prevention activities towards individual workers, physicians, unions and potentially hazardous workplaces. In Michigan and New Jersey, medical records are routinely reviewed for objective physiologic findings to substantiate a WRA diagnosis.
Occupational-health; Work-environment; Workers; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Bronchial-asthma; Surveillance-programs; Health-hazards; Worker-health; Occupational-diseases; Disease-prevention; Employee-exposure; Physicians; Airway-resistance; Diagnostic-tests; Medical-services; Case-studies; Questionnaires; Health-surveys; Occupations; Industrial-environment
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, 250 Washington Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
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Source Name
SENSOR Occupational Lung Disease Bulletin
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division