Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 3 > Post-Hire Asthma Among Insect-Rearing Workers
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31823fe098
Original Articles

Post-Hire Asthma Among Insect-Rearing Workers

Suarthana, Eva MD, PhD; Shen, Angela MPH, ScD; Henneberger, Paul K. ScD, MPH; Kreiss, Kathleen MD; Leppla, Norman C. PhD; Bueller, David MA; Lewis, Daniel M. PhD; Bledsoe, Toni A. MS; Janotka, Erika MUDr; Petsonk, Edward L. MD

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Objective: To evaluate the incidence of post-hire asthma (PHA) among insect-rearing workers, defined as asthma, the symptoms of which appeared after hire at the current workplace.

Methods: We surveyed the health of workers at three insect-rearing facilities and an associated office facility. We calculated the incidence and estimated hazard ratios for PHA.

Results: Post-hire asthma incidence in 157 insect-rearing workers was 16.2 per 1000 person-years compared with 9.2 per 1,000 person-years in 70 office workers. Workers with predominant exposure to Lepidoptera had an incidence of 26.9 per 1000 person-years and a hazard ratio of 5.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.6 to 23.9) adjusted for sex, race, and parental asthma. In contrast, the presence of specific immunoglobulin E to Lepidoptera antigens was not associated with PHA.

Conclusion: Insect-rearing workers had a high incidence of PHA, primarily accounted for by workplace exposure to Lepidoptera.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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