Occupational Asthma Reference

Meijer E, Suarthana E, Rooijackers J, Grobbee DE, Jacobs JH, Meijster T, de Monchy JGR, van Otterloo E, van Rooy FGBGJ, Spithoven JJG, Zaat VAC, Heederik DJJ, Application of a prediction model for work-related sensitisation in bakery workers, Eur Respir J, 2010;36:735-742,

Keywords: Holland, baker, surveillance, model, IgE, flour, amylase

Known Authors

Dick Heederik, Institute of Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht Dick Heederik

Frits van Rooy, Utrecht University Frits van Rooy

JH Jacobs, Utrecht JH Jacobs

Tim Meijster, Tim Meijster

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Abstract

Identification of work-related allergy, particularly work-related asthma, in a (nationwide) medical surveillance programme among bakery workers requires an effective and efficient strategy.

Bakers at high risk of having work-related allergy were indentified by use of a questionnaire-based prediction model for work-related sensitisation. The questionnaire was applied among 5,325 participating bakers. Sequential diagnostic investigations were performed only in those with an elevated risk. Performance of the model was evaluated in 674 randomly selected bakers who participated in the medical surveillance programme and the validation study. Clinical investigations were evaluated in the first 73 bakers referred at high risk.

Overall 90% of bakers at risk of having asthma could be identified. Individuals at low risk showed 0.3–3.8% work-related respiratory symptoms, medication use or absenteeism. Predicting flour sensitisation by a simple questionnaire and score chart seems more effective at detecting work-related allergy than serology testing followed by clinical investigation in all immunoglobulin E class II-positive individuals.

This prediction based stratification procedure appeared effective in detecting work-related allergy among bakers and can accurately be used for periodic examination, especially in small enterprises where delivery of adequate care is difficult. This approach may contribute to cost reduction.

Plain text: Identification of work-related allergy, particularly work-related asthma, in a (nationwide) medical surveillance programme among bakery workers requires an effective and efficient strategy. Bakers at high risk of having work-related allergy were indentified by use of a questionnaire-based prediction model for work-related sensitisation. The questionnaire was applied among 5,325 participating bakers. Sequential diagnostic investigations were performed only in those with an elevated risk. Performance of the model was evaluated in 674 randomly selected bakers who participated in the medical surveillance programme and the validation study. Clinical investigations were evaluated in the first 73 bakers referred at high risk. Overall 90% of bakers at risk of having asthma could be identified. Individuals at low risk showed 0.3-3.8% work-related respiratory symptoms, medication use or absenteeism. Predicting flour sensitisation by a simple questionnaire and score chart seems more effective at detecting work-related allergy than serology testing followed by clinical investigation in all immunoglobulin E class II-positive individuals. This prediction based stratification procedure appeared effective in detecting work-related allergy among bakers and can accurately be used for periodic examination, especially in small enterprises where delivery of adequate care is difficult. This approach may contribute to cost reduction.

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