The impact of current employment status and other factors on quality of life was evaluated for workers diagnosed with western red cedar asthma in British Columbia, Canada.
Telephone interviews by questionnaire included the Short Form 36 (SF-36) and Marks Asthma quality-of-life instruments.
Of the 302 subjects contacted, 70.5% (n = 213) participated. Employment status was the most consistent predictor of quality-of-life domains, with highest scores for employed subjects, particularly those who were no longer exposed to red cedar. Subjects who had quit work because of their asthma had worse scores, particularly for vitality and general health perceptions. Other factors independently associated with specific aspects of poor quality of life were having asthma-like symptoms, taking medication, and not being married.
Continued employment was associated with better quality of life for workers with western red cedar asthma.