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Characteristics Associated With Health Care Professional Diagnosis of Work-Related Asthma Among Individuals Who Describe Their Asthma as Being Caused or Made Worse by Workplace Exposures

Knoeller, Gretchen E. MPH; Mazurek, Jacek M. MD, MS, PhD; Moorman, Jeanne E. MS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: April 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 4 - p 485–490
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182479f93
Original Articles

Objective: To identify factors associated with health care professional–diagnosed work-related asthma (WRA) among adults who describe their asthma as being caused or made worse by workplace exposures (possible WRA).

Methods: We calculated prevalence ratios adjusted for age and sex using data from the 2006 to 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Asthma Call-Back Survey from 37 states and the District of Columbia for ever-employed adults with current asthma and possible WRA.

Results: An estimated 17.6% of ever-employed adults with current asthma and possible WRA had health care professional–diagnosed WRA. Health care professional–diagnosed WRA was associated with age, income, employment status, asthma control level, asthma attack, emergency department visit, hospitalization, urgent treatment, and changing/quitting a job due to asthma.

Conclusions: Among ever-employed adults with possible WRA, health care professional–diagnosed WRA is associated with poorer asthma control and frequent unscheduled health care visits.

From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Ms. Knoeller and Dr. Mazurek), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WVa; and the National Center for Environmental Health (Ms. Moorman), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.

Address correspondence to: Gretchen E. Knoeller, MPH, Surveillance Branch, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop HG 900, 1095 Willowdale Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505 (

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest and received no funding for this work. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Preliminary results were presented at the 2011 Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Annual Conference, June 12 to 16, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine