Objectives The deleterious role of cleaning products in work-related asthma has been suggested in recent studies. We aimed to study the relationship between asthma and occupational asthmogens, with a particular attention to cleaning agents, separately in men and women.
Methods Analyses were conducted in 656 men and 699 women (18–79 years) from the follow-up of the case-control and familial Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA), with available data for work history. Lifetime and current occupational exposures to 18 specific asthmogens, including industrial cleaning agents, were estimated using an asthma job-exposure matrix with an expert re-evaluation step. Subjects with current asthma (266 men, 247 women), current adult-onset asthma (77 men, 98 women), or current asthma with high asthma symptom score (164 men, 176 women) were compared to non-asthmatics. Analyses were stratified by sex and adjusted for age and smoking.
Results 32% of men and 28% of women had ever been exposed to asthmogens. Women were more exposed than men to cleaning agents (9% vs 2%,p<0.001). Current asthma was not associated with lifetime exposure to asthmogens overall in men (adjusted OR (95% CI): 0.90 (0.61 to 1.33)) nor in women (0.99 (0.68 to 1.46)). In women, lifetime exposure to cleaning agents was associated with current asthma (overall: 1.80 (0.99 to 3.27), adult-onset: 2.08 (1.02 to 4.26), high symptom score: 2.15 (1.14 to 3.96)); current exposure was associated with current asthma (2.72 (0.98 to 7.56)).
Conclusions Our results confirm the deleterious role of occupational exposure to cleaning agents on asthma in women and are consistent with a role in both new-onset and work-exacerbated asthma. Grants: AFSSET-EST-09-15, PHC Van Gogh.
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