Work-related Asthma



Work-related asthma is the most prevalent occupational lung disease and is likely underrecognized in the clinical setting. Thus, a thorough occupational history is critical for identifying patients.

  • Approximately 17% of all adult-onset asthma cases are related to occupational exposures.
  • Median prevalence of work-exacerbated asthma among adults with asthma is 22%, but some studies have suggested up to 58%.
  • Patients with work-related asthma are more likely to experience asthma attacks, emergency room visits, and worsening of their asthma symptoms compared with other adult asthma patients.
  • Women and men with asthma are equally likely to have work-related asthma.
  • Workers who are black, American Indian/Alaska Native, of multiple races, or of Puerto Rican ethnicity have a higher prevalence of work-related asthma.
Page last reviewed: May 24, 2017