Abstract
Introduction:The aim of this study was to investigate the employment status and the relation between symptoms and workplace exposures in an adult population with asthma.Materials and methods:Asthma patients from seven tertiary chest diseases departments were included in the study and a face to face questionnaire related to occupation of the patients,duration of asthma and employement, relation between asthma symptoms and occupation was completed.Results:A total of 345 patients(54.2%female/45.8% male) with a mean age of 41.7±13.7 years were enrolled. The mean duration of asthma was 8.7±9.5 years where as mean duration of employement was 17.9±12.1years.Majority of the patients were housewives(40%),other common occupations were; office workers, textile workers, students,hospital staff, cleaners, farmers, teachers and drivers.The ratio of patients describing worsening of asthma during working period was 34.8%,additionally 23.2% reported improvement during holidays.Among the patients with a history of worsening of asthma during work,34.8% had a diagnosis of asthma before getting employed.However 83.3% stated that asthma symptoms started during the working period.Surprisingly 11.6% of the housewives defined relation between asthma symptoms and housework.Conclusion:About one third of the adult asthma patients attributed their asthma symptoms to the workplace.In the majority of this group asthma started after getting the job supporting a causality between asthma and occupation.These findings demonstrate the importance of occupation and occupational history and the impact of workplace exposures in assessment and treatment of asthma in our country.