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Am J Ind Med. 2013 May;56(5):541-9. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22178. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Predictors of respiratory sickness absence: an international population-based study.

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1
Section of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. jeong-lim.kim@amm.gu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Respiratory tract-related occupational disability is common among adults of working age. We examined occupational vapors, gas, dust, or fume (VGDF) exposure as a predictor of disability, based on respiratory sickness absence among the actively employed, at an early point at which prevention may be most relevant.

METHODS:

Currently employed European Community Respiratory Health Survey II participants (n = 6,988) were classified into three mutually exclusive, condition/symptom-based categories: physician-diagnosed asthma, self-reported rhinitis, and wheeze/breathlessness (n = 4,772). Logistic regression analysis estimated the odds of respiratory sickness absence (past 12 months) by VGDF exposure.

RESULTS:

In the condition/symptom groups, 327 (6.9%) reported respiratory sickness absence. Exposure to VGDF was associated with increased odds of respiratory sickness absence: asthma odds ratio [OR] 2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-3.6), wheeze/breathlessness OR 2.2 (95% CI 1.01-4.8); rhinitis OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.02-3.4).

CONCLUSION:

One in 15 currently employed with asthma, breathlessness, or rhinitis reported respiratory sickness absence. VGDF exposure doubled the odds of respiratory sickness absence, suggesting a focus for disability prevention.

PMID:
23450785
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.22178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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