OBJECTIVES--This study prospectively evaluated factors of working conditions and lifestyle in the development of chronic non-specific lung disease (CNSLD). METHODS--Baseline data were collected in 1981 from 5386 municipal employees born in 1923-35 who had no diagnosed CNSLD. The subjects were studied again in 1985 with a postal questionnaire. The predictors of CNSLD were selected by multivariate logistic regression analysis. RESULTS--159 (3%) reported the development of CNSLD confirmed by a physician. During the 4.6 year follow up period the average annual incidence was 6.5/1000 subjects. In men the logit model followed was: smoking (odds ratio (OR) 1.17, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.06-1.29), tight work schedule (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.03-1.65), loss of a close friend (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.13-4.31), and retirement of a spouse (OR 3.31, 95% CI 1.35-8.11). In women the selected risk factors were: smoking (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.01-1.38), atopy (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.12-3.53), physically heavy work (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.09-2.29), poor physical working conditions such as heat, cold, changing temperature (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.13-1.75), and infrequent communication with other people at work (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.05-1.49). CONCLUSION--The differences in the predictors of the incidence of CNSLD between men and women were partly explained by different smoking habits, frequency of atopy, and working conditions. In men the significance of life events (loss of close friend and retirement of wife) need further investigation.
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