Medline ® Abstracts for References 30,51
of 'Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome and irritant-induced asthma'
Irritant-induced occupational asthma.
Tarlo SM, Broder I
A retrospective review was performed on the files of 154 consecutive workers assessed for occupational asthma to clarify the relative frequency of asthma induced by irritants in the workplace and to determine whether such asthma was clearly distinguishable from other forms of occupational asthma. Fifty-nine workers were considered to have occupational asthma. A subset of ten had a history consistent with asthma initiated by exposure to high concentrations of an irritant, had persistent symptoms for an average of five years when seen, demonstrated increased reactivity to methacholine, and gave no prior history of pulmonary complaints. These ten had a lower incidence of atopy (20 percent vs 58 percent) and a more frequent history of smoking (80 percent vs 38 percent) than the other subjects with occupational asthma but did not differ in average latency (5.9 years vs 5.7 years). Our findings suggest that irritant-induced asthma is not uncommon, and those affected may have different baseline characteristics from others with occupational asthma.
Gage Research Institute, University of Toronto, Canada.
Long-term respiratory symptoms in World Trade Center responders.
Mauer MP, Cummings KR, Hoen R
Occup Med (Lond). 2010;60(2):145.
BACKGROUND: New York State (NYS) employees who responded to the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster on or after 11 September 2001 potentially experienced exposures that might have caused persistent respiratory effects. NYS responders represent a more moderately exposed population than typical first responders.
AIMS: To assess whether NYS employees who were WTC responders were more likely than controls to report lower respiratory symptoms (LRS) or a diagnosis of asthma 5 years post-9/11. Persistence and severity of symptoms were also evaluated.
METHODS: Participants were initially mailed self-administered questionnaires (initial, Year 1, Year 2) and then completed a telephone interview in Year 3. Data were analysed using Poisson's regression models.
RESULTS: WTC exposure was associated with LRS, including cough symptoms suggestive of chronic bronchitis, 5 years post-9/11. When exposure was characterized using an exposure assessment method, the magnitude of effect was greater in those withexposure scores above the mean. WTC exposure was associated with persistence of LRS over the 3 year study period. Results also suggest that participants with the highest exposures were more likely to experience increased severity of their asthma condition and/or LRS.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that even in a moderately exposed responder population, lower respiratory effects were a persistent problem 5 years post-9/11, indicating that some WTC responders require ongoing monitoring.
Bureau of Occupational Health, Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, Troy, NY 12180, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org