Hille Suojalehto, Pirjo
HöLttä and Irmeli Lindström
Institute of Occupational health, Helsinki, Finland
Prognosis of occupational asthma patients is not fully known.
Aims and objectives:
We evaluated the work status, exposure to the asthma-causing
occupational agent and asthma control about half a year after the
occupational asthma diagnosis.
We retrospectively reviewed the patient files of the occupational
asthma cases verified with specific inhalation challenge in the Finnish
Institute of Occupational Health during 2011-2015. The patients who
attended a control visit six months after the diagnosis were included.
Asthma symptoms and results of histamine challenge and fractional
exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) were evaluated during the diagnosis and at
the control visit.
102 patients attended a control visit: 2% continued working without
change in occupational exposure, 21% with reduced exposure and 15%
worked unexposed, 35% participated a retraining program, 15% were on
sick leave, 10% were unemployed and 3% were retired. Compared to the
time of the diagnosis, a decrease in hyperresponsiveness (p=0.005) and
FeNO (p=0.004) and an increase in inhaled corticosteroid dose
(p<0.001) was detected at the control visit. Exposure status
during the control visit did not have a significant effect on these
results. Asthma symptoms did not differ significantly between the two
results suggest that occupational asthma patients need more support to
remain in work life after the diagnosis, because 1/4 of them were not
working or attending retraining program half a year after the
diagnosis. In a short follow-up we did not find differences in asthma
control between unexposed patients and those with continuing exposure.
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