Occupation and asthma: a population based incident case-control study

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Abstract

The authors assessed the relations between occupation and risk of developing asthma in adulthood in a 1997-2000 population-based incident case-control study of 521 cases and 932 controls in south Finland. The occupations were classified according to potential exposure to asthma-causing inhalants. Asthma risk was increased consistently for both men and women in the chemical (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 5.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08, 29.8), rubber and plastic (OR = 2.61, 95% CI: 0.92, 7.42), and wood and paper (OR = 1.72, 95% CI: 0.71, 4.17) industries. Risk in relation to occupation was increased only for men-for bakers and food processors (OR = 8.62, 95% CI: 0.86, 86.5), textile workers (OR = 4.70, 95% CI: 0.29, 77.1), electrical and electronic production workers (OR = 2.83, 95% CI: 0.82, 6.93), laboratory technicians (OR = 1.66, 95% CI: 0.17, 16.6), and storage workers (OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 0.40, 6.19). Of the predominantly men's occupations, metal (OR = 4.52, 95% CI: 2.35, 8.70) and forestry (OR = 6.00, 95% CI: 0.96, 37.5) work were the strongest determinants of asthma. For women, asthma risk increased for waiters (OR = 3.03, 95% CI: 1.10, 8.31), cleaners (OR = 1.42, 95% CI: 0.81, 2.48), and dental workers (OR = 4.74, 95% CI: 0.48, 46.5). Results suggest an increased asthma risk both in traditional industries and forestry and in several nonindustrial occupations.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-987
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume158
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2003

Keywords

  • occupations, occupational diseases, asthma, case-control studies