Hollander A, Heederik D, Brunekreef B, Work-Related Changes In Peak Expiratory Flow Among Laboratory Animal Workers, Eur Respir J, 1998;11:929-936,

BOHRF Original Authors' Main Conclusions

The original authors' main conclusions are taken from Abstract, Results and Discussion. They are decided upon by the authors of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines and form part of the guidelines.

Study aimed to study relationship between allergic symptoms due to working with rats and variability and changes in peak expiratory flow (PEF). 73% subjects completed PEF readings on at least 9 days, of whom 208 had PEF readings on working days with and without contact with animals. The overall prevalence rate of allergic symptoms was 17.3%. Asthmatic symptoms were reported by 6.7% and PEF values for these workers decreased significantly on days working with the animals compared to the workers without symptoms. In addition, workers with asthmatic symptoms were also more likely to have higher PEF variability than workers without asthmatic symptoms. Diurnal variation was unhelpful in separating occupational asthma from others. No difference in diurnal variation was observed on animal days from other days. Authors conclude that the peak expiratory flow of workers who reported asthmatic symptoms due to working with rats decreased significantly on days working with laboratory animals.

BOHRF Associated Evidence Statements

The BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines state that this reference is associated with the following evidence statements

** 3 Acceptable peak flow series can be obtained in around two thirds of those in whom a diagnosis of occupational asthma is being considered.

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