[A definition of work-related asthma and its social and occupational consequences in adults and teenagers]


Work-related asthma (WRA) accounts for 10-25% of all adult asthma. It therefore seems important to raise questions regarding an asthmatic’s approach to occupational or job training activities. WRA takes on two forms: work-exacerbated asthma (WEA) and occupational asthma (OA), which encompasses different subtypes of heterogeneous mechanisms. It currently represents a major challenge for occupational medicine in terms of detailed diagnosis, social care, the economic repercussions for workers and employers and, last but not least, social insurance. This review aims to sensitize health care practitioners to the peculiarities of WRA management in routine practice. More specifically, prognosis depends on early diagnosis, medical care and work adjustment measures. WEA and OA are explained in detail in view of identifying causative agents and at-risk occupations and defining adapted medical strategy. Relevant lines of questioning and complementary exams are presented. In addition, the key role of the occupational physician, especially as regards recognition and identification of occupational disease, is underlined, the objective being to facilitate optimal professional and social management. In future studies, the key role of counseling and orientation mechanisms should be highlighted as means of preventing WRA occurrence.

Authors: C Gautier, M T Lecam, S Basses, J C Pairon, P Andujar
; Full Source: Revue des maladies respiratoires 2021 Oct 25;S0761-8425(21)00367-3. doi: 10.1016/j.rmr.2021.09.006.