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Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology:
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283449063
Occupational disease: Edited by Susan M. Tarlo and Piero Maestrelli

Occupational lower airway disease in relation to World Trade Center inhalation exposure

de la Hoz, Rafael E

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Abstract

Purpose of review: To summarize the knowledge about the occupational lower airway diseases that seem related to exposures at the World Trade Center disaster site.

Recent findings: Those diseases have been characterized as irritant-induced asthma, chronic nonspecific bronchitis, chronic bronchiolitis/small airway disease, and aggravated preexistent chronic obstructive lung disease (most frequently chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but also asthma), with the expected overlapping features among them. One remarkable characteristic of the irritant-induced asthma observed among these workers was the slow onset of symptoms and long delay in clinical diagnoses.

Summary: Longitudinal studies suggest that both the incidence and the associated functional decline of these predominantly obstructive lung diseases stabilized several years ago, but longer follow-up is clearly necessary.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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