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Occupations with an increased prevalence of self-reported asthma in Indian adults
Authors: Agrawal S, Pearce N, Millett C, Subramanian SV, Ebrahim S.
Source: Journal of Asthma, 28:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]
Topic(s): Adult health
Country: Asia
Published: MAY 2014
Abstract: Occupational asthma remains relatively under-recognized in India with little or no information regarding preventable causes. We studied occupations with an increased prevalence of self-reported asthma among adult men and women in India. Methods: Analysis is based on 64?725 men aged 15-54 years and 52?994 women aged 15-49 years who participated in India's third National Family Health Survey, 2005-2006, and reported their current occupation. Prevalence odds ratios (ORs) for specific occupations and asthma were estimated using multivariate logistic regression, separately for men and women, adjusting for age, education, household wealth index, current tobacco smoking, cooking fuel use, rural/urban residence and access to healthcare. Results: The prevalence of asthma among the working population was 1.9%. The highest odds ratios for asthma were found among men in the plant and machine operators and assemblers major occupation category (OR: 1.67; 95% CI: 1.14-2.45; p?=?0.009). Men working in occupation subcategories of machine operators and assemblers (OR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.24-2.76; p?=?0.002) and mining, construction, manufacturing and transport (OR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.00-1.77; p?=?0.051) were at the highest risk of asthma. Reduced odds of asthma prevalence in men was observed among extraction and building trades workers (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.53-0.97; p?=?0.029). Among women none of the occupation categories or subcategories was found significant for asthma risk. Men and women employed in high-risk occupations were not at a higher risk of asthma when compared with those in low-risk occupations. Conclusions: This large population-based, nationally representative cross-sectional study has confirmed findings from high income countries showing high prevalence of asthma in men in a number of occupational categories and subcategories; however, with no evidence of increased risks for women in the same occupations.