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Workplace Exacerbation of Asthma—NEW—The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Work-related asthma is the most common lung disease seen in occupational health clinics in the United States based on data from the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics for 1991-1996.
Work-related asthma includes both new onset asthma initiated by workplace exposures and pre-existing asthma exacerbated by workplace environments, because in both types of cases repeated exposure to asthmatic agents can lead to chronic pulmonary impairment. Also, the 1985 American Thoracic Society statement “What Constitutes an Adverse Health Effect of Air Pollution,” identified exacerbation of asthma as one of the serious effects of environmental air pollution. While anecdotal evidence suggests that as many as one-half of work-related asthma patients treated in occupational medicine clinics had pre-existing asthma that was exacerbated by workplace conditions, there is little data from studies in the United States to support this claim.
This study will investigate the frequency, causes, and consequences of workplace exacerbation of asthma (WEA). Given the diversity of workplace agents and processes associated with asthma, a population-based, rather than industry-based, study is needed to ascertain the full extent of the problem. This will be achieved by surveying adults with asthma. The Specific Aims are: (1) To determine the frequency of workplace exacerbation of asthma. (2) To determine the circumstances at work associated with exacerbation of asthma. (3) To determine the social and economic costs associated with workplace exacerbation of asthma. (4) To determine the sensitivity and specificity of self-reported workplace exacerbation of asthma. (5) To determine whether workplace exacerbation of asthma contributes to progression of disease. The design is a prospective cohort study with a nested validation study. A questionnaire will be completed in the baseline study to address Specific Aims 1-3. Also, patient care records will be used to ascertain cost of asthma care for each participant (Specific Aim 3). A subset of employed subjects with and without workplace exacerbation will be requested to conduct serial spirometry, and the findings will serve as the “gold standard” to determine the sensitivity and specificity of a self-report of workplace exacerbation of asthma (Specific Aim 4). All subjects from the baseline study will be asked to complete a follow-up questionnaire approximately two years later to investigate whether workplace exacerbation at baseline predicts an increase in asthma severity (Specific Aim 5).
The data collected in this study will be used to further current understanding of the frequency of workplace-exacerbated asthma, the social and economic impacts of this problem, and the implication of a report of WEA for subsequent asthma severity. This information can be used to prioritize resources for addressing this problem. The data collected in this study will also identify which jobs and exposures are likely to exacerbate existing asthma, thus providing guidance on where to focus preventive efforts. The data collected in this study on the validity of a self-report of WEA will be useful to both clinicians and researchers who attempt to treat or study individuals with this problem. The estimated annualized burden is 844 hours.
|Form name||No. of respondents||No. responses per respondent||Average burden per response (in hrs.)|
|Phase 1: attempts to get an interview||1,100||1||5/60|
|Phase 1: Completed Baseline Study Interviews||800||1||30/60 Start Printed Page 58774|
|Phase 3: attempt to get an interview||800||1||5/60|
|Phase 3: Completed Follow-up Study Interviews||600||1||300|
Dated: September 26, 2000.
Acting Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Evaluation Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
[FR Doc. 00-25143 Filed 9-29-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4163-18-M