Occupational Asthma Reference

Miedinger D, Gautrin D, Castano R, Upper airway symptoms among workers with work-related respiratory complaints, Occup Med, 2012;62:427-434,

Keywords: Canada, oa, rhinitis, laryngitis, phararyngitis, sinusitis

Known Authors

Denise Gautrin, Hôpital de Sacré Coeur, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Denise Gautrin

David Miedinger, Lucern, Basel and Montreal David Miedinger

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Work-related rhinitis and asthma symptoms frequently co-exist.

To determine the prevalence and nature of nasal, pharyngeal, laryngeal and sinus symptoms among individuals with work-related respiratory symptoms.

Individuals referred to a tertiary occupational asthma clinic for investigations with specific inhalation challenges were evaluated using the RHINASTHMA quality of life questionnaire and a questionnaire that assessed the nature and frequency of upper airway symptoms, their relationship to the workplace and their temporal relationship with the onset of asthma symptoms.

There were 83 study participants. At least one upper airway symptom was reported by all of these individuals: nasal in 92%; pharyngeal in 82%; laryngeal in 65% and sinus in 53% of participants. Overall, there were no significant differences in the frequencies of nasal, pharyngeal, laryngeal and sinus symptoms when comparing these with occupational asthma (OA), work-exacerbated asthma (WEA) and work-related respiratory symptoms (WRS), except that nasal bleeding was most frequent among those with WRS. The presence of laryngeal symptoms was significantly associated with rhinitis-specific quality of life impairment. Individuals with workplace exposures to high molecular weight agents had greater impaired quality of life than those who were exposed to low molecular weight agents (RHINASTMA Upper Airway sub-scores: 24.0±10.4 versus 19.8±6.8; P < 0.05).

Individuals who were referred for work-related respiratory symptoms experienced high rates of work-related nasal, pharyngeal, laryngeal and sinus symptoms, regardless of having OA, WEA or WRS.

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