Table 3

Prevalence of respiratory symptoms among flight attendants, teachers, and working women (aged 24–49)

Symptom (%)Flight attendants (FA) (n = 1824)Teachers (T) (n = 331)Comparison women (C)*p value
FA v TFA v CT v C
*Source of comparison data varies by symptom: 1988 NHIS Occupational Health Supplement (for eyes, nose, and throat; n = 9304), the 1988–94 NHANES III (for cold or flu; n = 2786), the 2000 BRFSS (for asthma; n = 41988), and 1984 data for non-exposed blue collar workers in North Carolina (for chest illness; n = 416). Standard error (SE) in parentheses.
Itchy, irritated, or watery eyes in prior 2 weeks12.47.42.9 (0.2)0.02<0.0050.01
Stuffed, itchy, or runny nose in prior 2 weeks15.78.12.7 (0.2)<0.005<0.005<0.005
Sore or dry throat in prior 2 weeks7.55.71.3 (0.1)0.28<0.005<0.005
Chest illness in past 3 years32.919.37.2 (1.3)<0.005<0.005<0.005
Cold or flu (5+ episodes in past year) (0.4)0.26<0.005<0.005
Ever had asthma diagnosed by a physician8.213.311.8 (0.3)<0.005<0.0050.42
Currently have physician diagnosed asthma4.98.88.6 (0.3)<0.005<0.0050.90