Occupational exposures associated with work-related asthma and work-related wheezing among U.S. workers

Ahmed A. Arif, George L. Delclos, Lawrence W. Whitehead, Susan R. Tortolero, Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: National estimates of occupational asthma (OA) in the United States are sparse. Methods: Using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) 1988-1994, we analyzed associations between occupation and work-related asthma and work-related wheezing among U.S. workers. Results: This study identified several occupations that were at risk of developing work-related asthma and/or wheezing, with cleaners and equipment cleaners showing the highest risks. Other major occupations identified were farm and agriculture; entertainment; protective services; construction; mechanics and repairers; textile; fabricators and assemblers; other transportation and material moving occupations; freight, stock, and material movers; and motor vehicle operators. The population attributable risks for work-related asthma and work-related wheezing were 26% and 27%, respectively. Conclusions: This study adds evidence to the literature that identifies work-related asthma as an important public health problem. Several occupations are targeted for additional evaluation and study. Of particular interest are cleaners, which are being increasingly reported as a risk group for asthma. Future intervention strategies need to be developed for effective control and prevention of asthma in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Respiratory Sounds
Occupational Exposure
Occupations
Asthma
Nutrition Surveys
Occupational Asthma
Textiles
Motor Vehicles
Mechanics
Agriculture
Workplace
Public Health
Equipment and Supplies
Population

Keywords

  • Adult asthma
  • Asthma
  • Epidemiology
  • NHANES III
  • Occupational asthma
  • Occupations
  • Work-related asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Occupational exposures associated with work-related asthma and work-related wheezing among U.S. workers. / Arif, Ahmed A.; Delclos, George L.; Whitehead, Lawrence W.; Tortolero, Susan R.; Lee, Eun.

In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 44, No. 4, 01.10.2003, p. 368-376.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Arif, Ahmed A. ; Delclos, George L. ; Whitehead, Lawrence W. ; Tortolero, Susan R. ; Lee, Eun. / Occupational exposures associated with work-related asthma and work-related wheezing among U.S. workers. In: American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2003 ; Vol. 44, No. 4. pp. 368-376.
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