Occupational Asthma Reference

Brown JS, Nitrogen dioxide exposure and airway responsiveness in individuals with asthma, Inhalation Toxicology, 2015;27:1-14,https://doi.org/10.3109/08958378.2014.979960

Keywords: nitrogen dioxide, SIC, review, NO2

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Controlled human exposure studies evaluating the effect of inhaled nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on the inherent responsiveness of the airways to challenge by broncho-constricting agents have had mixed results. In general, existing meta-analyses show statistically significant effects of NO2 on the airway responsiveness of individuals with asthma. However, no meta-analysis has provided a comprehensive assessment of the clinical relevance of changes in airway responsiveness, the potential for methodological biases in the original papers, and the distribution of responses. This paper provides analyses showing that a statistically significant fraction (i.e. 70% of individuals with asthma exposed to NO2 at rest) experience increases in airway responsiveness following 30-min exposures to NO2 in the range of 200 to 300?ppb and following 60-min exposures to 100?ppb. The distribution of changes in airway responsiveness is log-normally distributed with a median change of 0.75 (provocative dose following NO2 divided by provocative dose following filtered air exposure) and geometric standard deviation of 1.88. About a quarter of the exposed individuals experience a clinically relevant reduction in their provocative dose due to NO2 relative to air exposure. The fraction experiencing an increase in responsiveness was statistically significant and robust to exclusion of individual studies. Results showed minimal change in airway responsiveness for individuals exposed to NO2 during exercise

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