Journal Article

Occupation and Asthma: A Population-based Incident Case-Control Study

Jouni J. K. Jaakkola, Ritva Piipari and Maritta S. Jaakkola

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 158, issue 10, pages 981-987
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwg238
Occupation and Asthma: A Population-based Incident Case-Control Study

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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.

Keywords: asthma; case-control studies; occupational diseases; occupations; Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; EU, European Union; OR, odds ratio.

Journal Article.  4388 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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