Occupational Asthma Reference

Miedinger D, Malo J-L, Ghezzo H, LArchevêque J, Zunzunegui M-V, Factors influencing duration of exposure with symptoms and costs of occupational asthma, Eur Respir J, 2010;36:728-734,
(Plain text: Miedinger D, Malo J-L, Ghezzo H, LArcheveque J, Zunzunegui M-V, Factors influencing duration of exposure with symptoms and costs of occupational asthma, Eur Respir J)

Keywords: Canada, compensation, cost, Quebec, occupational asthma

Known Authors

Jean-Luc Malo, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Jean-Luc Malo

David Miedinger, Lucern, Basel and Montreal David Miedinger

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Abstract

The most important factor for the prognosis of occupational asthma is the length of exposure with symptoms prior to removal from exposure. We wanted to identify factors, including socioeconomic status, that can influence the delay in submitting a claim to a medicolegal agency after the onset of asthmatic symptoms, and to confirm that this delay is associated with worse respiratory prognosis and higher direct costs.

This is a cross-sectional study of subjects who claimed compensation for occupational asthma at the Workers' Compensation Board of Quebec, Canada. Data were collected at re-evaluation ~2.5 yrs after diagnosis. Information on the number of years with symptoms and removal from exposure was obtained from the medicolegal file.

60 subjects were included in the study. Being older, having a revenue of >30,000 Canadian dollars and having occupational asthma due to high molecular weight agents were all positively associated with the number of years of exposure with symptoms before removal from exposure. Subjects with persistent airway hyperresponsiveness at follow-up had a higher number of years with symptoms. Experiencing symptoms in the workplace for <1 yr generated lower direct costs.

These findings might help in surveillance programmes that could be preferentially targeted for these subgroups of workers.

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Associated Questions

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Which factors increase the probability of a favourable prognosis after a diagnosis of occupational asthma?
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What is the effectiveness of compensation being directed towards rehabilitation?
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