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Eur Respir J. 2010 May;35(5):987-93. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00050009. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

Parental occupation is a risk factor for childhood wheeze and asthma.

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Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZP, UK.


The present birth cohort study investigated whether or not childhood wheeze and asthma are associated with parental exposure to occupational sensitisers that cause asthma. Parental occupation, from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), was related to wheeze, asthma, ventilatory function, airway responsiveness and atopic sensitisation in children aged 0-102 months. Occupation was recorded for 11,193 mothers and 9,473 fathers antenatally, and for 4,631 mothers and 5,315 fathers post-natally. Childhood respiratory outcomes were not associated with parental occupational exposure to diisocyanates, glues/resins, dyes, animal dust, solder, enzymes and wood dust. Maternal post-natal occupational exposure to latex and/or biocides/fungicides increased the likelihood of childhood wheeze and asthma. High levels of latex or biocide/fungicide exposure were associated with an OR (95% CI) of 1.26 (1.07-1.50) and 1.22 (1.02-2.05), respectively, for wheezing up to 81 months. Combined maternal latex and biocide/fungicide exposure increased the likelihood of childhood wheeze (1.22 (1.03-1.43)) and asthma. High paternal occupational flour dust exposure was associated with an increased likelihood of wheeze after 30 months (2.31 (1.05-5.10)) and asthma by 91 months (3.23 (1.34-7.79)). Maternal occupational exposure to latex and/or biocides and paternal exposure to flour dust increases the risk of childhood asthma. Further studies in this area are justified.

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