Occupational Asthma Reference

Kauppi P, Hannu T, Helaskoski E, Toivio P, Sauni R, Short-term prognosis of occupational asthma in a Finnish population, clinical respiratory journal, 2011;5:143-149,

Keywords: Finland, oa, prognosis

Known Authors

Timo Hannu, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Timo Hannu

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Causative agents of occupational asthma (OA) are well described in literature but far less is known about factors affecting the outcome of OA. Short duration of exposure, early diagnosis when symptoms appear and further avoidance of exposure have been suggested as good prognostic factors. This study was designed to investigate a short-term outcome of OA.

The medical records of 47 Caucasian patients from a Finnish population diagnosed with OA in year 2003 were reviewed retrospectively. Employment status at 6-month follow-up of all patients was determined. We assessed the following potential predictors of unemployment at follow-up: the causative agents of OA, asthma medication, spirometry results, smoking status, gender, age, occupation, atopy status, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and time to diagnosis. We calculated odd ratios (ORs) to predict employment status at follow-up.

At the follow-up examination, 23 persons (49%) were not working. At the time of follow-up there were no significant differences in pulmonary function between those employed and those who discontinued to work. Atopy at baseline predicted diminished lung function at the 6-month follow-up. In addition, atopy was the only prognostic factor and was inversely related to the work discontinuation at the follow-up [OR 0.18, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.04–0.79]. Work continuation as an OA outcome at 6 months could not be predicted by gender, age, occupational status, exposure antigen, smoking habits or duration of symptoms before diagnosis.

The socio-economic short-term prognosis of OA was relatively poor since half of the patients were not at work at the 6 months follow-up.

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