Cross-shift and longitudinal changes in FEV1 among wood dust exposed workers
- 1Department of Public Health, Section of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
- 2Department of Occupational Medicine, Herning Hospital, Herning, Denmark
- 3Neuro Centre, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
- Correspondence to Dr Gitte Højbjerg Jacobsen, Department of Occupational Medicine, Herning Hospital, Gl. Landevej 61, 7400 Herning, Denmark;
- Received 17 January 2012
- Revised 23 July 2012
- Accepted 26 August 2012
- Published Online First 26 September 2012
Objectives Acute lung function (LF) changes might predict an accelerated decline in LF. In this study, we investigated the association between cross-shift and longitudinal changes in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) among woodworkers in a 6-year follow-up study.
Methods 817 woodworkers and 136 controls participated with cross-shift changes of FEV1 at baseline and FEV1 and forced vital capacity at follow-up. Height and weight were measured and questionnaire information on respiratory symptoms, employment and smoking habits was collected. Wood dust exposure was assessed from 3572 personal dust measurements at baseline and follow-up. Cumulative wood dust exposure was assessed by a study-specific job exposure matrix and exposure time.
Results The median (range) of inhalable dust at baseline and cumulative wood dust exposure was 1.0 (0.2–9.8) mg/m3 and 3.8 (0–7.1) mg year/m3, respectively. Mean (SD) for %ΔFEV1/workday and ΔFEV1/year was 0.2 (6.0)%, and −29.1 (41.8) ml. Linear regression models adjusting for smoking, age, height and weight change showed no association between cross-shift and annual change in FEV1 among woodworkers or controls. Including different exposure estimates, atopy or cross-shift change dichotomised or as quartiles did not change the results.
Conclusions This study among workers exposed to low levels of wood dust does not support an association between acute LF changes and accelerated LF decline.
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