Data Shows Need for Better Prevention of Work-Related Asthma

Work-related asthma is a preventable but under-recognized illnesses and expansion of surveillance efforts to better target intervention efforts is needed. Some 9 percent of all asthma cases are asthma caused or made worse by work-related exposures, data from 38 states and the District of Columbia suggest. The data, collected from 2006-2009, also suggest that older workers and certain ethnic or minority populations are most at risk. The findings highlight the importance of expanding occupational asthma surveillance to better understand the risk factors for these preventable but under-recognized illnesses, and to better focus effective preventive efforts. Expansion of work-related asthma surveillance to include information on the respondents’ industry and occupation would enhance our understanding of work-related asthma epidemiology and enable states, other government agencies, health professionals, employers, workers, and worker representatives to better target intervention efforts to reduce the burden of work-related asthma.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report