Certain jobs 'may increase adult-onset asthma'

22 January 2013

People in certain professions are at a greater risk of developing asthma when reaching middle-age, according to a new study published in the journal Thorax.

Approximately 10,000 people born in the UK in 1958 were tracked by researchers for a period of 15 years and through this, researchers were able to establish a link with certain jobs.

Along with hairdressing and farming vocations, those working with cleaning products were commonly found to develop adult-onset asthma.

Lead author, Dr Rebecca Ghosh, explained that this is an important finding as it is strengthening the association of such products with the chronic inflammatory disease of the airway.

"Occupational asthma is widely under-recognised by employers, employees and healthcare professionals," she added. "Raising awareness that this is an almost entirely preventable disease would be a major step in reducing its incidence."

Malayka Rahman, research analysis and communications officer at Asthma UK, said that this research highlights the idea that people working as cleaners or home-based personal care workers may have developed asthma because of the regularity of exposure to various chemicals.

He said: "We advise anyone who works in the industries highlighted in this study and who have experienced breathing problems to discuss this with their GP, and we urge healthcare professionals to make sure they consider possible occupational causes in adult onset asthma and tailor their advice to people with asthma accordingly."

Posted by Edward Bartel

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