Henneberger PK, Derk SJ, Davis L, Tumpowsky C, Reilly MJ, Rosenman KD, Schill DP, Valiante D, Flattery J, Harrison R, Reinisch F, Filios MS, Tift B
The objective was to elaborate the descriptive epidemiology of work-related cases of reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS). Cases of work-related asthma (WRA) were identified in four states in the United States during 1993-1995 as part of the Sentinel Event Notification Systems for Occupational Risks (SENSOR). Information gathered by follow-back interview was used to describe 123 work-related RADS cases and to compare them to 301 other WRA cases whose onset of disease was associated with a known asthma inducer. RADS represented 14% of all new-onset WRA cases identified by the state SENSOR surveillance systems. RADS cases had significant adverse medical and occupational outcomes identified by follow-back interview. In particular, 89% still had breathing problems, 78% had ever sought emergency care and 39% had ever been hospitalized for work-related breathing problems, 54% had applied for worker compensation benefits, and 41% had left the company where they experienced onset of asthma. These values equaled or exceeded the comparable figures for those WRA cases whose onset was attributed to a known inducer. Work-related RADS represents a minority of all WRA cases, but the adverse impact of this condition appears toequal that of other WRA cases.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1095 Willowdale Road M/S H-2800, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org