Occupational Asthma Reference

Jacobs JH, Meijster T, Meijer E, Suarthana E, Heederik D, Wheat allergen exposure and the prevalence of work-related sensitization and allergy in bakery workers, Allergy, 2008;63:1597-1604,

Keywords: holland, netherland, baker, wheat, sensitisation, IgE,

Known Authors

Dick Heederik, Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht Dick Heederik

JH Jacobs, Utrecht JH Jacobs

Tim Meijster, Tim Meijster

If you would like to become a known author and have your picture displayed along with your papers then please get in touch from the contact page. Known authors can choose to receive emails when their papers receive comments.


Background: Occupational airway diseases are common among bakers. The present study describes the association between exposure to wheat allergen levels and sensitization to wheat allergens, work-related upper and lower respiratory symptoms and asthma in bakery workers.

Methods: As part of a Health Surveillance System for early detection of (allergic) occupational airway diseases a so-called 'validation study' was performed among Dutch bakers for validation of a diagnostic model that predict the likelihood of sensitization to specific workplace allergens. The present study used serology and questionnaire results of a subgroup of 860 bakers participating in the validation study. An earlier developed job-exposure matrix was used to predict average and cumulative personal exposure to wheat allergens.

Results: The prevalence of wheat sensitization, work-related respiratory symptoms and asthma increased till average wheat exposure levels of approximately 25–30 µg/m3, leveled off and decreased at higher exposure concentrations. Exposure–response curves showed a stronger pronounced bell-shape with cumulative exposure. Associations were strongest for asthma and work-related lower respiratory symptoms (PR~2 and PR~3.5–4.5 for average and cumulative exposure, respectively). Associations were only found in atopics. Wheat sensitization was an important factor in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms.

Conclusion: In accordance with earlier studies, the present study showed a bell-shaped exposure–response relationship especially for cumulative wheat allergen exposure with sensitization, allergic respiratory symptoms and asthma. The healthy worker effect may be the possible explanation for the bell-shaped relationship.

Full Text

Full text of this reference not available

Please Log In or Register to add the full text to this reference


Please sign in or register to add your thoughts.

Oasys and occupational asthma smoke logo