Occupation and COPD: a brief review

Department of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA.
Journal of Asthma (Impact Factor: 1.8). 09/2011; 49(1):2-4. DOI: 10.3109/02770903.2011.611957
Source: PubMed


This review summarizes the scientific literature relevant to occupational risk factors for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
This review emphasizes recent work in the field, while placing this in the context of two previous systematic reviews of the subject.
Both the earlier summaries of the literature estimated that the population attributable risk percent (PAR%) of COPD linked to occupational exposures is approximately 15%. More recent studies also strongly support the association between workplace exposures and COPD. Among never smokers, the PAR% for work-related factors may approach 40%. Emerging data also indicate that occupational exposures, at a minimum, are additive to smoking-associated risk of COPD.
The PAR% for work-related COPD is at least 15%. Scientific significance. The consistency, strength, and plausibility of these data support a causal relationship between occupational exposures and COPD.

13 Reads
  • Source
    • "Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) represents a leading cause of death worldwide. As much as 15% of COPD cases have been attributed to occupational exposures (Balmes et al., 2003; Blanc 2012). COPD has serious medical, social and economic consequences as the clinical signs of disease develop slowly, so complicating early diagnosis and often results in pulmonary and extrapulmonary complications (Eisner et al., 2011). "

  • Source
    • "Because of the large contribution of smoking to the incidence of COPD, occupational contribution has been overlooked despite the presence of strong evidence for occupational exposure as a non-smoking cause of COPD. A recent review estimated the population-attributable risk of occupation for COPD approximately 15% (5). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The respiratory system is one of the most important body systems particularly from the viewpoint of occupational medicine because it is the major route of occupational exposure. In 2013, there were significant changes in the specific criteria for the recognition of occupational diseases, which were established by the Enforcement Decree of the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act (IACIA). In this article, the authors deal with the former criteria, implications of the revision, and changes in the specific criteria in Korea by focusing on the 2013 amendment to the IACIA. Before the 2013 amendment to the IACIA, occupational respiratory disease was not a category because the previous criteria were based on specific hazardous agents and their health effects. Workers as well as clinicians were not familiar with the agent-based criteria. To improve these criteria, a system-based structure was added. Through these changes, in the current criteria, 33 types of agents and 11 types of respiratory diseases are listed under diseases of the respiratory system. In the current criteria, there are no concrete guidelines for evaluating work-relatedness, such as estimating the exposure level, latent period, and detailed examination methods. The results of further studies can support the formulation of detailed criteria. Graphical Abstract
    Journal of Korean Medical Science 06/2014; 29 Suppl(Suppl):S47-51. DOI:10.3346/jkms.2014.29.S.S47 · 1.27 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is limited evidence from population-based studies demonstrating incidence of spirometric-defined chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in association with occupational exposures. We evaluated the association between occupational exposures and incidence of COPD in the Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA). Prebronchodilator ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second over forced vital capacity (FEV(1)/FVC) was measured in 4,267 nonasthmatic SAPALDIA participants ages 18-62 at baseline in 1991 and at follow-up in 2001-2003. COPD was defined by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) criterion (FEV(1)/FVC < 0.70) and Quanjer reference equation (FEV(1)/FVC < lower limit of normal [LLN]), and categorized by severity (≥ 80% and <80% predicted FEV(1) for stage I and stage II+, respectively). Using a job-exposure matrix, self-reported occupations at baseline were assigned exposures to biological dusts, mineral dusts, gases/fumes, and vapors, gases, dusts, or fumes (VGDF) (high, low, or unexposed as reference). Adjusted incident rate ratios (IRRs) of stage I and stage II+ COPD were estimated in mixed Poisson regression models. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) IRRs of stage II+ GOLD and LLN-COPD, indicating risks between two- and fivefold, were observed for all occupational exposures at high levels. Occupational exposure-associated risk of stage II+ COPD was observed mainly in males and ages ≥ 40 years, and remained elevated when restricted to nonsmokers. In a Swiss working adult population, occupational exposures to biological dusts, mineral dusts, gases/fumes, and VGDF were associated with incidence of COPD of at least moderate severity.
    American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 04/2012; 185(12):1292-300. DOI:10.1164/rccm.201110-1917OC · 13.00 Impact Factor
Show more