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August/September 2011 (vol. 08/2)

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Research Plus

Occupational asthma interventions

A Cochrane systematic review of workplace interventions to treat occupational asthma finds that both exposure reduction and elimination can reduce symptoms, but only exposure removal improves lung function. Twenty-one before-and-after studies met inclusion criteria; however, research quality was generally low. Removal from exposure, as measured in 15 studies, significantly reduced the chances of reporting no asthma symptoms (risk ratio 21.4) and improved forced expiratory volume (FEV). Exposure reduction, as assessed in six studies, also increased the likelihood of reporting no symptoms (RR 5.3) but had no impact on FEV. Two of the studies found that workers who had been removed from exposure were significantly more likely to be unemployed; exposure reduction did not increase the risk of job loss.


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2011 (vol. 08/2) pp42