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0208 Respiratory health after starting work: The APPRENTICE Study
  1. Kin Bong Hubert Lam1,
  2. John Henderson2,
  3. Jon G Ayres1
  1. 1University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2University of Bristol, Bristol, UK


Objectives Young adults between 16 and 24 years of age represent only 13% of the working population in the UK, yet they have higher rates of work-related accidents and injuries compared to workers of other age groups. However, little is known about the incidence and risk factors for occupational diseases such as occupational asthma in these individuals.

Method The study was based on data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). At 16 and 18 years, participants were asked to report their employment, along with questions on respiratory health.

Results At 16 years, those who left education and were employed had less severe asthma compared to those in education. At 18, asthma prevalence was higher among the employed, but the severity of asthma in these individuals did not differ significantly from those staying in education and who were not employed. There was no obvious relationship between the prevalence of asthma or the major occupational groups and the proportion of respondents reporting time lost from work.

Of all respondents who had asthma at 18 years, 3% had lost time due to the condition, and 11% suggested the symptoms were better at weekends. Symptom improvement was mostly seen among waiters and waitresses, kitchen and catering assistants, and sales and retail assistants.

Conclusions The high prevalence of work-related symptoms suggests they may be substantial number of cases of occupational asthma in the young work force.

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