Nurses, cleaners at increased risk for asthma
NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) Nurses are roughly twice as likely as people with other jobs to develop asthma, according to a report in The Lancet medical journal. A heightened, albeit slightly lower, risk is also seen in cleaners.
Dr Manolis Kogevinas, from the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues tested 6837 subjects for asthma when they took part in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey from 1990 to 1995. The participants had had no respiratory symptoms or history of asthma when the study began.
The findings confirmed that exposure to certain cleaning chemicals, bioaerosols, mites, agricultural products, and latex in the workplace raise the risk of developing asthma.
Of major occupation groups, nurses had 2.2-times the risk of asthma compared to the group as a whole; cleaners had 1.7-times the risk.
Workers exposed to ''an acute symptomatic inhalation event,'' such as a chemical spill or fire, were 3.3-times more likely to develop asthma than non-exposed workers.
Based on their findings, the researchers estimate that each year, roughly 250 to 300 cases of occupation-related asthma occur for every one million people.
REUTERS SKB PM0910