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Respir Med. 2000 Jun;94(6):529-35.

Asthma on the job: work-related factors in new-onset asthma and in exacerbations of pre-existing asthma.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


Occupational asthma (OA) can be defined as variable airways narrowing causally related to exposure in the working environment to airborne dusts, gases, vapours or fumes. There are many agents in the work-place that can induce asthma or cause substantial deterioration in pre-existing asthma. It has been estimated that 5-15% of adult-onset asthma can be attributed to occupational exposures. Hence adult patients, especially those with new-onset asthma, must be investigated with regard to occupational risk factors for disease. The prognosis for OA is improved if the causal exposure is controlled either by controlling the exposure at the workplace or by moving the patient out of the workplace.

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