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Occupation and Asthma in an Urban Low Income Population

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Identifier:
First received: April 11, 2001
Last updated: June 23, 2005
Last verified: December 2004

To study work-related asthma in a low-income, urban population.

Lung Diseases

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case Control

Further study details as provided by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI):

Study Start Date: March 2001
Estimated Study Completion Date: February 2005
Detailed Description:


Work-related asthma is asthma that is attributable to, or is made worse by, environmental exposures in the workplace. Published estimates of the proportion of adult asthma attributable to occupational factors have varied widely, depending on population, methodology, and definitions, from 2 percent to 33 percent. Occupational asthma is of great public health importance because it is potentially preventable, can cause substantial disability, and in some cases is completely curable. Among adults in the United States, asthma has become a major public health problem, with rates most elevated among low income, urban, African American and Latino sectors of the population, and with substantial evidence suggesting potential occupational contributions to the excess rates. These important sectors of the U.S. population have, however, been inadequately represented in the occupational asthma research literature.


This was a case control study of physician-diagnosed asthma, occupation, industry, and workplace environmental exposures designed to evaluate the hypothesis that a substantial component of the asthma burden in a low income, urban, largely minority population was due to occupational factors. The study design addressed a variety of methodologic challenges including healthy worker effects, difficulty contacting and recruiting this potentially high risk population, large numbers of potential etiologic agents, mixed exposures, small workplaces, and low absolute incidence of occupational asthma.

The study population was the catchment population of Bellevue Hospital, a general hospital in lower Manhattan, New York City, with busy ambulatory care services that serve low income working communities. Cases and controls were recruited from among outpatients and inpatients at Bellevue Hospital and interviewed face-to-face or by telephone. Occupation, industry, and occupational exposures were determined by questionnaire supplemented by a Job Exposure Matrix. Odds ratios (ORs) of association between asthma and specific industrial, occupational, and exposure categories, controlled for major confounders, were estimated. The ORs were used to calculate occupation- and industry-specific Attributable Fractions, and an overall Population Attributable Fraction of asthma attributable to occupational factors. New onset occupational asthma and work-aggravated asthma were investigated separately.


Genders Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

No eligibility criteria

  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00014820

Sponsors and Collaborators
Investigator: George Friedman-Jimenez New York University School of Medicine
  More Information

No publications provided Identifier: NCT00014820     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 964
Study First Received: April 11, 2001
Last Updated: June 23, 2005
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Lung Diseases
Bronchial Diseases
Hypersensitivity, Immediate
Immune System Diseases
Lung Diseases, Obstructive
Respiratory Hypersensitivity
Respiratory Tract Diseases processed this record on November 20, 2014