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Dr Søyseth and colleagues recently reported an increased prevalence of airflow limitation in workers employed in the Norwegian smelting industry and significant associations with workplace dust exposures.1 The prevalence of airflow limitation was assessed using prebronchodilator spirometry and two measures of airflow limitation: FEV1/FVC ratio <0.7 and FEV1/FVC ratio <lower limit of normal (LLN). When compared across age categories (<35, 35–44, ≥45 years), the prevalence of airflow limitation based on the ratio <0.7 versus LLN was approximately doubled in the ≥45 years age categories across all levels of exposure duration (overall ≈17.6 vs ≈8.8%). The rate of FEV1 decline was increased for prevalent and incident cases of airflow limitation defined by both criteria, but it would be of interest to see the rates of decline for workers with FEV1/FVC <0.7 …
The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mention of a specific product or company does not constitute endorsement by CDC.
Funding This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) intramural programme.
Ethics approval De-identified NHANES data were used and ethics approval was thus not needed.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.