Objectives: We used an interviewer-administered questionnaire to investigate workplace exacerbation of asthma symptoms (WEAS) among low-income, minority, working asthmatics admitted Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City from 2001 to 2002. We hypothesized that a high prevalence of WEAS would be found in this population among all jobs held and a subset of individual occupational classifications.
Measurements and main results: Of 301 subjects, 51% reported WEAS in their current or most recent job; 71% reported WEAS in any job. Prevalences (95% confidence intervals) of WEAS in common job classifications were 61% (49-73%) in janitorial jobs, 50% (33-67%) in garment and textile manufacturing jobs, and 38% (23-55%) in construction jobs.
Conclusion: WEAS is prevalent in this urban minority population.