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Occupation and Chronic Bronchitis Among Chinese Women

Krstev, Srmena MD, PhD; Ji, Bu-Tian MD, DrPH; Shu, Xiao-Ou MD, PhD; Gao, Yu-Tang MD; Blair, Aaron PhD; Lubin, Jay PhD; Vermeulen, Roel PhD; Dosemeci, Mustafa PhD; Zheng, Wei MD, PhD; Rothman, Nathaniel MD; Chow, Wong-Ho PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 1 - p 64-71
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31815c6cdf
Original Articles

Objective: To examine the association between occupation and chronic bronchitis among a cross section of Chinese women who participated in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.

Methods: Cases were 4873 women who self-reported a physician-diagnosed bronchitis during adulthood. Controls were 9746 women randomly selected from Shanghai Women’s Health Study participants and matched with the cases by year of birth and age at diagnosis. Lifetime occupational histories were obtained. Logistic regressions were used to evaluate the association between chronic bronchitis and occupation, adjusting for smoking, education, family income, and concurrent asthma.

Results: We observed excess prevalence of bronchitis for textile occupation (odds ratio, OR = 1.09; 95% CI = 1.00–1.18) and industry (OR = 1.11; 95% CI = 1.03–1.19), welders (OR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.01–1.92), packing and baling workers (OR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.15–1.68), and warehousing industry (OR = 1.58; 95% CI = 1.08–2.30) We also identified several new associations that may warrant further exploration and confirmation, including employment in some metal fabrication industries, postal and telecommunication industry, and a few white-collar occupations and industries.

Conclusions: Our study indicates that the risk of chronic bronchitis among women may be increased in some occupations and industries.

From the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch (Drs Krstev, Ji, Blair, Vermeulen, Dosemeci, Rothman, Chow), Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD; Clinical Centre of Serbia (Dr Krstev), Institute of Occupational Health, Belgrade, Serbia; Department of Medicine (Drs Shu, Zheng), Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn; Department of Epidemiology (Dr Gao), Shanghai Cancer Institute, Shanghai, China; Biostatistic Branch (Dr Lubin), Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, MD; and Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences (Dr Vermeulen), Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: Bu-Tian Ji, MD, DrPH, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, 6120 Executive Blvd., EPS 8104, Bethesda, MD 20892; E-mail:

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine