Work-related asthma and employment status – 38 states and District of Columbia, 2006–2009
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Work-related asthma and employment status – 38 states and District of Columbia, 2006–2009

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      J Asthma
    • Description:

      To examine differences in current employment status between persons with health professional-diagnosed work-related asthma and non-work-related asthma and to examine factors associated with unemployment in these groups.


      We analyzed the 2006–2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Asthma Call-back Survey for ever-employed adults (excluding those who were retired, homemakers and students at the time of the interview) with current asthma in 38 states and District of Columbia (N = 25 680). We calculated prevalence ratios (PRs) adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education and income.


      Among adults with current asthma, individuals with work-related asthma were less likely to be currently employed for wages (PR = 0.89; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.84–0.95) and more likely to be unable to work (PR = 1.44; 95% CI = 1.24–1.67) than those with non-work-related asthma. Among adults with current asthma who were unemployed at the time of the interview, adults with work-related asthma did not differ from those with non-work-related asthma in naming disability as reason for unemployment (PR = 1.09; 95% CI = 0.94–1.26). However, those with work-related asthma were more likely to be unable to work for health reasons other than disability (PR = 1.46; 95% CI = 1.01–2.12) than adults with non-work-related asthma.


      Additional studies are needed to determine what health reasons prevent individuals with work-related asthma from working and if the health reasons are asthma-related.

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