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Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease |

Work-Related Asthma-Like Symptoms Among Florists*

Muge Akpinar-Elci, MD; Omur Cinar Elci, MD, PhD; Aygul Odabasi, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Division of Respiratory Diseases Studies (Drs. AkpinarElci and Elci), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV; and the Department of Respiratory Medicine (Dr. Odabasi), Izmir Chest Diseases and Surgery Training Hospital, Izmir, Turkey.

Correspondence to: Muge Akpinar-Elci, MD, NIOSH Division of Respiratory Diseases Studies, Field Studies Branch MS H-2800, 1095 Willowdale Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505; e-mail: mra8@cdc.gov



Chest. 2004;125(6):2336-2339. doi:10.1378/chest.125.6.2336
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Objectives: In this study, we evaluated the prevalence of work-related asthma-like symptoms and possible risk factors among florists in Turkey.

Methods: We collected questionnaire data from 128 florists, and investigated occupational history and respiratory, ocular, dermal, and nasal symptoms. We evaluated pulmonary function tests with spirometry and atopy by using the skin-prick test. Possible risk factors were analyzed by age-adjusted, smoking-adjusted, and gender-adjusted logistic regression models comparing symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

Results: The prevalence of work-related asthma-like symptoms was 14.1% (18 patients). We observed excess risk with a high work intensity (odds ratio [OR], 7.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 51.8) and long work duration (OR, 5.1; 95% CI, 1.2 to 21.6). Florists with work-related asthma-like symptoms were 5.9 times more likely (95% CI, 1.4 to 24.3) to have a positive skin test response to a flower mix allergen. We also observed an excess risk for work-related asthma-like symptoms among those with allergic rhinitis (OR, 13.2; 95% CI, 3.1 to 56.4) and conjunctivitis (OR, 8.4; 95% CI, 2.4 to 29.2).

Conclusion: The most prominent risk factors in florists were work intensity, work duration, and specific atopy.


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asthma

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