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Occupation and adult onset of rhinitis in the general population
  1. K Radon1,
  2. U Gerhardinger1,2,
  3. A Schulze1,3,
  4. J-P Zock4,
  5. D Norback5,
  6. K Toren6,
  7. D Jarvis7,
  8. L Held2,8,
  9. J Heinrich3,
  10. B Leynaert9,
  11. D Nowak1,
  12. M Kogevinas4,10,
  13. for the occupational group of the ECRHS study
  1. 1
    Institute for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
  2. 2
    Institute for Statistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
  3. 3
    Department of Epidemiology, GSF Munich, Germany
  4. 4
    Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, IMIM, Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5
    Department of Medical Sciences/Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, Sweden
  6. 6
    Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
  7. 7
    Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health Group, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London, UK
  8. 8
    Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  9. 9
    Equipe Epidémiologie Respiratoire, INSERM, Paris, France
  10. 10
    Department of Social Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
  1. K Radon, Unit for Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology & Net Teaching, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ziemssenstr 1, D-80336 Munich, Germany; Katja.Radon{at}med.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

Objectives: Occupational exposures have been associated with an increased risk of new-onset rhinitis in apprentices. However, population-based prospective data are scarce and do not cover new onset of rhinitis later in life. The authors studied the association between occupational exposure and adult onset of rhinitis prospectively.

Methods: The data of 4994 participants (age at follow-up 28–57 years) from 27 centres of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II who were symptom-free at baseline were analysed. As outcome at follow-up self-reported (a) nasal allergies (“allergic rhinitis”) and (b) runny, blocked nose for 12 months a year (“perennial rhinitis”) were used. Occupational exposures at any time during follow-up were defined by job title.

Results: The cumulative incidence of allergic rhinitis, perennial rhinitis and both conditions was 12%, 11% and 3%, respectively. Compared to office workers, male medical professionals were at increased risk of new onset of allergic rhinitis (OR 3.0; 95% CI 1.4 to 6.4). Odds ratios were reduced in metal workers not involved in metal making or treating (0.3; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.7). For perennial rhinitis ORs were significantly increased in cleaners (1.4; 95% CI 1.0 to 2.1).

Conclusions: Cleaners and medical professionals may be at increased risk for adult-onset rhinitis.

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Footnotes

  • Funding: The coordination of ECRHS II was supported by the European Commission, as part of their Quality of Life programme. The authors also received funding from the US National Institutes of Health (1R01HL062633, 1F32ES014142) and the EU Framework programme for research, contract no FOOD-CT-2004-506378, the GA2LEN project, Global Allergy and Asthma. The following bodies funded the local studies in ECRHS II included in this paper: Albacete: Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035–01, 99/0034–01 and 99/0034–02), Hospital Universitario de Albacete, Consejeria de Sanidad; Antwerp: FWO (Fund for Scientific Research)-Flanders Belgium (grant code: G.0402.00), University of Antwerp, Flemish Health Ministry; Barcelona: SEPAR, Public Health Service (grant code: R01 HL62633–01), Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035–01, 99/0034–01 and 99/0034–02) CIRIT (grant code: 1999SGR 00241) Red Respira ISCII; Basel: Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Federal Office for Education & Science, Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA), USC NIEHS Center grant 5P30 ES07048; Bergen: Norwegian Research Council, Norwegian Asthma & Allergy Association (NAAF), Glaxo Wellcome AS, Norway Research Fund; Bordeaux: Institut Pneumologique d’Aquitaine; Erfurt: GSF-National Research Centre for Environment & Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant code FR 1526/1–1); Galdakao: Basque Health Dept; Goteborg: Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation; Grenoble: Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no. 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, Ministere de l’Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, CHU de Grenoble, Comite des Maladies Respiratoires de l’Isere; Hamburg: GSF-National Reasearch Centre for Environment & Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant code MA 711/4–1); Ipswich and Norwich: Asthma UK (formerly known as National Asthma Campaign); Huelva: Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035–01, 99/0034–01 and 99/0034–02); Montpellier: Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no. 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, CHU de Grenoble, Ministere de l’Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, Aventis (France), Direction Régionale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales Languedoc-Roussillon; Oviedo: Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035–01, 99/0034–01 and 99/0034–02); Paris: Ministere de l’Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, UCB-Pharma (France), Aventis (France), Glaxo France, Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no. 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, CHU de Grenoble; Pavia: GlaxoSmithKline Italy, Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST), Local University Funding for research 1998 & 1999 (Pavia, Italy); Portland: American Lung Association of Oregon, Northwest Health Foundation, Collins Foundation, Merck Pharmaceutical; Reykjavik: Icelandic Research Council, Icelandic University Hospital Fund; Tartu: Estonian Science Foundation; Turin: ASL 4 Regione Piemonte (Italy), AO CTO/ICORMA Regione Piemonte (Italy), Ministero dell’Universitè e della Ricerca Scientifica (Italy), GlaxoWellcome spa (Verona, Italy); Umeå: Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation; Uppsala: Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation; Verona: University of Verona; Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST); GlaxoSmithKline Italy. Financial support for ECRHS I for centres in ECRHS II: Belgian Science Policy Office, National Fund for Scientific Research; Ministère de la Santé, Glaxo France, Institut Pneumologique d’Aquitaine, Contrat de Plan Etat-Région Languedoc-Rousillon, CNMATS, CNMRT (90MR/10, 91AF/6), Ministre delegué de la santé, RNSP, France; GSF, and the Bundesminister für Forschung und Technologie, Bonn, Germany; Ministero dell’Universitè e della Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica, CNR, Regione Veneto grant RSF n. 381/05.93, Italy; Norwegian Research Council project no. 101422/310; Dutch Ministry of Wellbeing, Public Health and Culture, Netherlands; Ministero Sanidad y Consumo FIS (grants #91/0016060/00E-05E and #93/0393), and grants from Hospital General de Albacete, Hospital General Juan Ramón Jiménenz, Consejeria de Sanidad Principado de Asturias, Spain; The Swedish Medical Research Council, the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, the Swedish Association against Asthma and Allergy; Swiss National Science Foundation grant 4026–28099; National Asthma Campaign, British Lung Foundation, Department of Health, South Thames Regional Health Authority, UK; United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare Public Health Service (grant #2 S07 RR05521–28). The authors state that the study sponsors had no role in study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the paper for publication.

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • The study protocol was approved by all local institutional ethics committees and informed consent was obtained from each participant.

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