Occupational exposure and the risk of airway obstruction and mortality


Objectives: To identify occupational groups at high risk of airway obstruction (AO) and mortality and potential interactions with smoking.

Methods: Lung function data from the LuftiBus project were enriched with occupational and follow-up information from the Swiss National Cohort, resulting in a cohort of 10582 adults between 2000 and 2015. We assigned professions to occupational groups and estimated the risk of AO and mortality using adjusted logistic and Cox regression model. Additionally, we assessed multiplicative and additive interactions between occupational exposure and smoking.

Results: Chimney sweeps and male workers from the agriculture, construction and food industries had an increased risk of AO (odds ratios ranging from 1.43 to 2.21). The risk of mortality was increased among male workers from the food industry (hazard ratio 1.57, 95% CI 1.10-2.23). Interactions with smoking were present in most associations, but smoking had no effect on the increased risk of mortality in the food industry.

Conclusions: Some occupational groups have a considerable risk of AO and mortality. The identification of the most affected occupations is of great importance enabling targeted risk reduction strategies.

Authors: Alexandra Strassman, Marco Kaufmann, Holger Dressel, Alexander Turk, Martin Röösli, Kees de Hoogh, Steven S Sadhra, Mathhias Bopp, Milo A Puhan, Swiss National Cohort Study Group
; Full Source: International journal of public health. 2020 Jun 11. doi: 10.1007/s00038-020-01400-8. Online ahead of print.