Study: Occupational Exposure, Family History of Asthma, and Impaired Respiratory Health

In a study published in the October 2008 edition of the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, researchers assessed the impact of occupational exposure to dust, gases, and fumes on respiratory symptoms, obstructive lung diseases, or the use of asthma medications among those with and without a family history of asthma. A population-based cohort was followed for 10 years and exposure and respiratory health were assessed from questionnaires. Susceptibility to impaired respiratory health was determined from a family history of asthma. The results showed that a family history of asthma was reported by 27% of the men and 34% of the women. Both occupational exposure and a family history of asthma were associated with impaired respiratory health. The authors concluded that the risk for impaired respiratory health after exposure to occupational air pollutants seems to be similar for persons with as well as for those without a family history of asthma.

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