August/September 2012 (vol. 09/2)

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Research Plus

Occupational asthma host factors

The prognosis for people diagnosed with occupational asthma (OA) is generally poor, but what factors affect the outcome? A systematic review (35 included papers) finds that OA outcomes are worse in older workers (moderate evidence), those exposed to high-molecular weight agents (moderate evidence), longer duration of exposure to the causative agent (moderate evidence) and impaired lung function (moderate evidence). However, neither atopy (strong evidence) nor being a smoker at the time of diagnosis (moderate evidence) affect outcomes. It is important to clarify that while atopy is a risk factor for OA caused by high molecular weight agents it does not alter the prognosis of the disease once it manifests.


European Respiratory Review 2012; 21(124): 88–96.


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2012 (vol. 09/2) pp38