Prevalence of Workplace Exacerbation of Asthma Symptoms in an Urban Working Population of Asthmatics

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Objectives:We used an interviewer-administered questionnaire to investigate workplace exacerbation of asthma symptoms (WEAS) among low-income, minority, working asthmatics admitted Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City from 2001 to 2002. We hypothesized that a high prevalence of WEAS would be found in this population among all jobs held and a subset of individual occupational classifications.Measurements and Main Results:Of 301 subjects, 51% reported WEAS in their current or most recent job; 71% reported WEAS in any job. Prevalences (95% confidence intervals) of WEAS in common job classifications were 61% (49–73%) in janitorial jobs, 50% (33–67%) in garment and textile manufacturing jobs, and 38% (23–55%) in construction jobs.Conclusion:WEAS is prevalent in this urban minority population.

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