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Gender differences in work-related asthma: surveillance data from California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey, 1993-2008.
White GE; Seaman C; Filios MS; Mazurek JM; Flattery J; Harrison RJ; Reilly MJ; Rosenman KD; Lumia ME; Stephens AC; Pechter E; Fitzsimmons K; Davis LK
J Asthma 2014 Sep; 51(7):691-702
Objective: To characterize work-related asthma by gender. Methods: We analyzed state-based sentinel surveillance data on confirmed work-related asthma cases collected from California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey during 1993-2008. We used Chi-square and Fisher's Exact Test statistics to compare select characteristics between females and males. Results: Of the 8239 confirmed work-related asthma cases, 60% were female. When compared to males with work-related asthma, females with work-related asthma were more likely to be identified through workers' compensation (14.8% versus 10.6%) and less likely to be identified through hospital data (14.2% versus 16.9%). Moreover, when compared to males, females were more likely to have work-aggravated asthma (24.4% versus 13.5%) and less likely to have new-onset asthma (48.0% versus 56.5%). Females were also more likely than males with work-related asthma to work in healthcare and social assistance (28.7% versus 5.2%), educational services (11.8% versus 4.2%), and retail trade (5.0% versus 3.9%) industries and in office and administrative support (20.0% versus 4.0%), healthcare practitioners and technical (13.4% versus 1.6%), and education training and library (6.2% versus 1.3%) occupations. Agent groups most frequently associated with work-related asthma were miscellaneous chemicals (20.3%), cleaning materials (15.3%), and indoor air pollutants (14.9%) in females and miscellaneous chemicals (15.7%), mineral and inorganic dusts (13.2%), and pyrolysis products (12.7%) in males. Conclusions: Among adults with work-related asthma, males and females differ in terms of workplace exposures, occupations, and industries. Physicians should consider these gender differences when diagnosing and treating asthma in working adults.
Bronchial-asthma; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Humans; Men; Women; Surveillance-programs; Statistical-analysis; Workers; Work-environment; Exposure-levels; Environmental-exposure; Sex-factors; Environmental-factors; Author Keywords: Gender differences; occupational asthma; reactive airways dysfunction syndrome; surveillance; work-related asthma; work-aggravated asthma
Gretchen E. White, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1095 Willowdale Rd., MS HG900, Morgantown, WV 26505
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008468; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008466; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008485; M042014
Issue of Publication
Journal of Asthma
WV; CA; MI; NJ; MA
Public Health Institute
Page last reviewed: October 29, 2021Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division