Occupational Asthma Reference

Schlunssen V, Wurtz ET, Hansen MRH, Miller M, Sigsgaard T, Omland O, The impact of the aetiology of COPD, bronchitis and bronchiolitis, In: Feary J, Suojalehto H, Cullinan P, eds. Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease (ERS Monogra, 2020;:86-103,https://doi.org/10.1183/2312508X.10034419

Keywords: COPD, occupation, definition,

Known Authors

Torben Sigsgaard, University of Aarhus Torben Sigsgaard

Martin Miller, Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham Martin Miller

Oyvind Omland, Aahus Denmark Oyvind Omland

Vivi Schlunssen, Aarhus Vivi Schlunssen

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COPD, a leading cause of death worldwide, is defined as the presence of a relevant respiratory symptom plus spirometrically proven irreversible airways obstruction in the absence of other diseases. Environmental exposures are the main contributors to COPD and chronic bronchitis. Smoking is the most influential risk factor in high-income countries, whereas biofuel smoke is a major risk factor in low- and middle-income countries. Environmental exposures result in an accelerated decline in lung function. Importantly, environmental exposures early in life including infections and smoking may hamper the maximally attained lung function, resulting in COPD without an accelerated decline in lung function. An important proportion of COPD, chronic bronchitis and bronchiolitis cases are due to occupational exposure to vapour, gases, dust and fumes, and this aspect presents an unsolved challenge for epidemiology and occupational medicine. Knowledge of the impact of specific exposures and exposure levels is urgently needed in order to implement an effective strategy for prevention.

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