Prevalence of workplace exacerbation of asthma symptoms in an urban working population of asthmatics

J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Aug;48(8):833-9. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000225169.45337.97.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / toxicity
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Occupations / classification
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population
  • Workplace*


  • Allergens