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Am J Ind Med. 2004 Oct;46(4):396-9.

Atopic and non-atopic asthma in a farming and a general population.

Author information

1
National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway. Winjuad.Eduard@stami.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In a previous study inverse associations between asthma and exposure to fungal spores and endotoxins in atopic farmers and positive associations with the same factors in non-atopic farmers were documented. No external reference population had been included. We, therefore, compared this farming population with the general population from an adjacent region.

METHODS:

Random samples of a farming (n=2,106) and a rural (n=351) and urban (n=727) general population were selected. Atopy was assessed by serum IgE and asthma by questionnaires.

RESULTS:

The asthma prevalence was 4.0% among farmers, 5.7% in the rural, and 7.6% in the urban population. Atopy was similar (9-10%). Most asthmatics were not atopic, 67-75%. Farmers had asthma less often than the general population OR 0.52 (95% CI 0.36-0.75); both atopic (OR 0.33 (95% CI 0.15-0.69)) and non-atopic asthma (OR 0.60 (95% CI 0.39-0.93)).

CONCLUSION:

This may indicate a protective effect of the farm environment on asthma but a healthy worker effect may also play a role.

PMID:
15376208
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.20088
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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