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Characteristics of Patients With Work-Related Asthma Seen in the New York State Occupational Health Clinics

Fletcher, Alicia M. MPH; London, Matthew A. MS; Gelberg, Kitty H. PhD, MPH; Grey, Anthony J. PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: November 2006 - Volume 48 - Issue 11 - pp 1203-1211
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000245920.87676.7b
Original Articles

Objective: The objective of this study was to characterize the work-related asthma population seen by the New York State Occupational Health Clinic Network (OHCN) to determine which industries, occupations, and causal agents are associated with work-related asthma in New York State (NYS).

Methods: The OHCN patient database was analyzed to identify those patients with a diagnosis of work-related asthma and medical charts were then abstracted for data on demographics, clinical history, disease severity, industry, occupation, and putative agent.

Results: The OHCN patients with work-related asthma were most commonly employed in the service and manufacturing industries. Common occupations included teachers, farm operators/managers, and construction trades. The most frequently reported putative agents associated with work-related asthma were dust, indoor air, mold, and solvents.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest the potential importance of prevention of workplace exposure in reducing adult asthma in NYS.

From the New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health (Ms Fletcher, Mr London, Dr Gelberg, Dr Grey), Troy, New York; and the New York State Public Employees Federation AFL-CIO (Mr London), Albany, New York.

This research was supported by the NIOSH Universities Occupational Health and Safety Educational Resource Center Pilot Project Training Program, T42-CCT210425-07, administered by the Mt. Sinai-IJ Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Address correspondence to: Alicia M. Fletcher, MPH, New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Occupational Health, Flanigan Square, 547 River Street, Rm. 230, Troy, NY 12180-2216; E-mail: amk05@health.state.ny.us.

©2006The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine