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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • occupational group;
  • healthy worker effect

Abstract

Background

Examining occupations other than those held when asthma symptoms first developed may not correctly identify occupations with higher risk of asthma onset.

Methods

To determine the occupation held when individuals first developed asthma symptoms, we examined 2010 National Health Interview Survey data for working adults with current asthma.

Results

Overall 37.1% of working adults with current asthma developed asthma while employed. Of these, the highest proportions of individuals identified office and administrative support (13.3%), sales and related (9.4%), and management (8.5%) as the occupation held when asthma first developed; 37.8% had a different current occupation than at asthma onset, and estimates of a change in occupation were highest for those who developed asthma while working in business and financial operations (49.3%), sales and related (48.6%), and healthcare support (43.8%) occupations.

Conclusion

Future population-based studies should further examine associations between asthma and occupation held at time of asthma onset. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:1165–1173, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.