Occupational Asthma Reference

Radon K, Huemmer S, Dressel H, Windstetter D, Weinmayr G, Weiland S, Riu E, Vogelberg C, Leupold W, von Mutius E, Goldberg M, Nowak D., Do respiratory symptoms predict job choices in teenagers?, Eur Respir J, 2006;27:774-778,

Keywords: ISAAC, career selection, epidemiology, Germany, vocational training

Known Authors

Dennis Nowak, Institute fur Arbeits, Munich Dennis Nowak

Holger Dressel, Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Munich Holger Dressel

Katja Radon, Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich Katja Radon

Erica von Mutius, Munich Erica von Mutius

Erika von Mutius, Helmholtz Center Munich Erika von Mutius

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Existing guidelines advise adolescents with asthma and allergies against high-risk occupations. The aim of the current authors' analyses was to investigate the resulting self-selection in a prospective cohort study. The participants of Phase II of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood in Germany (aged 9-11 yrs at baseline) were re-contacted after 7 yrs (response rate was 77%) and were asked to complete a questionnaire, which included items on atopic diseases. The subjects were also asked about the type of job they would like to have in the future (preferred job choice). Exposure to agents with potential asthma risk was evaluated using a job exposure matrix. The analyses were restricted to those in school-based vocational training programmes without occupational exposures. A total of 33% of subjects chose jobs with high asthma risk, 23% selected low asthma risk jobs and the remaining adolescents indicated jobs without known asthma risk (reference category). There were no statistically significant associations between asthma, allergic rhinitis or atopic dermatitis and selecting jobs with asthma risk. Participants with allergic rhinitis tended to select high risk jobs less frequently. In conclusion, self-selection into low risk jobs seems to play a minor role in teenagers with asthma or allergies.

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