Determinants of asthma phenotypes in supermarket bakery workers

Baatjies, R., Lopata, A.L., Sander, I., Raulf-Heimsoth, M., Bateman, E.D., Meijster, T., Heederik, D., Robins, T.G., and Jeebhay, M.F. (2009) Determinants of asthma phenotypes in supermarket bakery workers. European Respiratory Journal, 34 (4). pp. 825-833.

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While baker's asthma has been well described, various asthma phenotypes in bakery workers have yet to be characterised. Our study aims to describe the asthma phenotypes in supermarket bakery workers in relation to host risk factors and self-reported exposure to flour dust.

A cross-sectional study of 517 supermarket bakery workers in 31 bakeries used a questionnaire, skin prick tests, and specific immunoglobulin E to wheat, rye and fungal α-amylase and methacholine challenge testing.

The prevalence of probable occupational asthma (OA, 13%) was higher than atopic (6%), nonatopic (6%) and work-aggravated asthma (WAA, 3%) phenotypes. Previous episodes of high exposure to dusts, fumes and vapours causing asthma symptoms were more strongly associated with WAA (OR 5.8, 95% CI 1.7–19.2) than OA (2.8, 1.4–5.5). Work-related ocular–nasal symptoms were significantly associated with WAA (4.3, 1.3–13.8) and OA (3.1, 1.8–5.5). Bakers with OA had an increased odds ratio of reporting adverse reactions to ingested grain products (6.4, 2.0–19.8).

OA is the most common phenotype among supermarket bakery workers. Analysis of risk factors contributes to defining clinical phenotypes, which will guide ongoing medical surveillance and clinical management of bakery workers.

Item ID: 15248
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1399-3003
Keywords: asthma phenotypes, bakery workers, determinants, risk factors, work-related asthma
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2011 06:59
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920108 Immune System and Allergy @ 100%
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