The relationship between occupational exposures and COPD has been analyzed in population-based and occupational cohort studies. However, the influence of these exposures on the clinical characteristics of COPD is not well known. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of occupational exposures on respiratory symptoms, lung function, and employment status in a series of COPD patients.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 185 male COPD patients. Patients underwent baseline spirometry and answered a questionnaire that included information on respiratory symptoms, hospitalizations for COPD, smoking habits, current employment status, and lifetime occupational history. Exposure to biological dust, mineral dust, and gases and fumes was assessed using an ad hoc job exposure matrix.
Having worked in a job with high exposure to mineral dust or to any dusts, gas, or fumes was associated with an FEV(1) of < 30% predicted (mineral dust: relative risk ratio, 11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4 to 95; dusts, gas, or fumes: relative risk ratio, 6.9; 95% CI, 1.1 to 45). High exposure to biological dust was associated with chronic sputum production (odds ratio [OR], 4.3; 95% CI, 1.6 to 12), dyspnea (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 6.7), and work inactivity (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.4 to 4.2). High exposure to dusts, gas, or fumes was associated with sputum production (OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.2 to 6.7) and dyspnea (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.4).
Occupational exposures are independently associated with the severity of airflow limitation, respiratory symptoms, and work inactivity in patients with COPD.
"In a community based cohort study using structured telephone interviews of 234 COPD patients, 25% reported respiratory disability at work and 16% reported both VDGF exposures and respiratory-related work disability . In a patient series of 185 male patients, 34 had become unemployed (18%) due to COPD . Our patient series is in agreement with these studies, with 28.5 % of patients reporting cessation of work due to breathing, which is likely associated to both social and economical consequences. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
The contribution of occupational exposures to COPD and their interaction with cigarette smoking on clinical pattern of COPD remain underappreciated. The aim of this study was to explore the contribution of occupational exposures on clinical pattern of COPD.
Cross-sectional data from a multicenter tertiary care cohort of 591 smokers or ex-smokers with COPD (median FEV1 49%) were analyzed. Self-reported exposure to vapor, dust, gas or fumes (VDGF) at any time during the entire career was recorded.
VDGF exposure was reported in 209 (35%) subjects aged 31 to 88 years. Several features were significantly associated with VDGF exposure: age (median 68 versus 64 years, p < 0.001), male gender (90% vs 76%; p < 0.0001), reported work-related respiratory disability (86% vs 7%, p < 0.001), current wheezing (71% vs 61%, p = 0.03) and hay fever (15.5% vs 8.5%, p < 0.01). In contrast, current and cumulative smoking was less (p = 0.01) despite similar severity of airflow obstruction.
In this patient series of COPD patients, subjects exposed to VDGF were older male patients who reported more work-related respiratory disability, more asthma-like symptoms and atopy, suggesting that, even in smokers or ex-smokers with COPD, occupational exposures are associated with distinct patients characteristics.
BMC Public Health 04/2012; 12(1):302. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-302 · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe a respiratory disease prevention program in a US heavy-construction company.
The program uses periodic spirometry and questionnaires and is integrated into a worksite wellness program involving individualized intervention. Spirometry Longitudinal Data Analysis (SPIROLA) technology is used to assist the physician with (i) management and evaluation of longitudinal spirometry and questionnaire data; (ii) designing, recoding, and implementing intervention; and (iii) evaluation of impact of the intervention. Preintervention data provide benchmark results.
Preintervention results on 1224 workers with 5 or more years of follow-up showed that the mean rate of FEV1 decline was 47 mL/year. Age-stratified prevalence of moderate airflow obstruction was higher than that for the US population.
Preintervention results indicate the need for respiratory disease prevention in this construction workforce and provide a benchmark for future evaluation of the intervention.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 03/2011; 53(3):274-81. DOI:10.1097/JOM.0b013e31820b0ab1 · 1.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In workplace respiratory disease prevention, a thorough understanding is needed of the relative contributions of lung function loss and respiratory symptoms in predicting adverse health outcomes.
Copenhagen City Heart Study respiratory data collected at 4 examinations (1976-2003) and morbidity and mortality data were used to investigate these relationships. With 15 or more years of follow-up for a hospital diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) morbidity, COPD or coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality, and all-cause mortality, risks for these outcomes were estimated in relation to asthma, chronic bronchitis, shortness of breath, and lung function level at examination 2 (1981-1983) or lung function decline established from examinations 1 (1976-1978) to 2 using 4 measures (FEV(1) slope, FEV(1) relative slope, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's Longitudinal Normal Limit [LNL], or a limit of 90 milliliters per year [ml/yr]). These risks were estimated by hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for age, height-adjusted baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV(1)/height(2)), and height.
For COPD morbidity, the increasing trend in the HR (95% CI) by quartiles of the FEV(1) slope reached a maximum of 3.77 (2.76-5.15) for males, 6.12 (4.63-8.10) for females, and 4.14 (1.57-10.90) for never-smokers. Significant increasing trends were also observed for mortality, with females at higher risk.
Lung function decline was associated with increased risk of COPD morbidity and mortality emphasizing the need to monitor lung function change over time in at-risk occupational populations.
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