Table 1

Summary characteristics of the 12 longitudinal population-based studies included in the systematic review that examined the association between occupational exposures (ever and cumulative) and lung function decline

First author (year)Location and study nameSample sizeDuration of follow-up (year)Age at inception (years, mean±SD)Method of exposure assessmentSummary of the studiesConfounders adjusted
Studies used pre-bronchodilator
Skaaby et al.30 (2021)Denmark; Copenhagen City Heart Study8202948±7ACE JEM and lifetime work historyNo associations were observed between exposure to biological dust, mineral dust, gases/fumes and VGDF and lung function declineSex, smoking height, education, weights and baseline FEV1
Skaaby et al.30 (2021)Denmark; Copenhagen General Population Study7942947±5ACE JEM and lifetime work history
Faruque et al.24 (2020)Netherlands; Lifelines Cohort Study13 7594.544±12ALOHA plus JEM and current or last held jobMen and smokers are at higher risk of having a lower lung function than women and non-smokersAge, sex, smoking, pack-years, height, education, monthly income
Alif et al.1 (2019)Australia; TAHS Study7676 (2004–2010)44.8±0.8ALOHA plus JEM and lifetime work historyAromatic solvents, gases/fumes and metals were associated with lung function decline in middle ageSex, smoking, pack-years; height, socioeconomic status, childhood asthma, current asthma and co-exposures
Liao et al.28 (2015)USA; Framingham Heart Study13321747.4±10.6JEM (modified from UCSF COPD JEM) and current jobDust exposure related to the loss of FEV1 but not FEV1/FVC ratioSex, age, smoking, pack-years, height
de Jong et al.2 (2014)Netherlands; Vlagtwedde-Vlaardingen Study252725 (1965–1990)35
ALOHA plus JEM and current jobPesticide exposure was associated with annual decline in lung functionSex, age, pack-years, level of lung function and co-exposures
Sunyer et al.31 (2005)ECRHS study82639 (1991/93–1998/02)Male 34.01,
female 33.94
JEM and current jobExposed to dust, gases and fumes were not related to change in lung function in a population of relatively young participantsAge, smoking, number of cigarettes, height, body mass index, change in body mass index, length of follow-up
Humerfelt et al.26 (1993)Norway, population registry of Bergen951 (only male)23 (1965/70–1988/90)38±8.8Self-reported jobs at follow-upExposures to gases and metals were associated with decline in FEV1 Age, smoking, height
Krzyzanowiski et al.27 (1985)Poland, Krakow study186413 (1968–1981)19–70
Self-reported at baseline and follow-upExposed to dust in men increased the decline in FEV1 Age, smoking, height
Studies used post-bronchodilator
Tagiyeva et al.32 (2017)UK; WHEASE cohort23725 (1989–2014)60.6±1.5ACE JEM and lifetime work historyExposed to biological dust and vapours increased the risk of reduced lung function over 50 years in people who did not have childhood wheezingSex, age, pack-years of smoking, educational status
Harber et al.25 (2007)USA, Canada; multicentre lung health study57245 (1986–1991)Male 48.4,
female 48.5
Self-reported jobs at baseline and follow-upExposure to fumes was associated with the rate of decline in lung function in men with early COPDAge, smoking status (cigarettes per day, yes/no), height, race
Studies used both pre-bronchodilator and post-bronchodilator
Bui et al.23 (2019)Australia; TAHS study8578 (2008–2016)53.1±0.7ALOHA plus JEM and lifetime work historyExposure to VGDF was associated with lung function declineSex and socioeconomic status
Study used without bronchodilator
Lytras et al. 29 (2020)ECRHS and SAPALDIA17 83316.3 (1991/93–2010/12 and 1991–2001/11)56.9
ALOHA plus JEM and lifetime work historyLong-term occupational exposures to biological dust, mineral dust and metals were associated with an accelerated decline in FEV1 and the FEV1/FVC ratioAge, sex, height, current asthma, smoking status (current, lifetime, pack-year), socioeconomic status, asthma (maternal, paternal, childhood)
  • ACE JEM, Airborne Chemical Exposure Job Exposure Matrix; ALOHA, A Lot of Occupational Hygiene Assumptions; ECRHS, European Community Respiratory Health Survey Study; FEV1, Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 sec; FVC, Forced Vital Capacity; GPJEM, General Population Job Exposure Matrix; JEM, Job Exposure Matrix; SAPALDIA, Swiss Cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung Disease in Adults; TAHS, Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study; VGDF, Vapours, Dust, Gases and Fumes; VGDFFiM, Vapours, Dust, Gases, Fumes, Fibers and Mists; WHEASE, What Happens Eventually to Asthmatic children: Sociologically and Epidemiologically.