A case-control study of airways obstruction among construction workers.
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BACKGROUND: While smoking is the major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), occupational exposures to vapors, gases, dusts, and fumes (VGDF) increase COPD risk. This case-control study estimated the risk of COPD attributable to occupational exposures among construction workers. METHODS: The study population included 834 cases and 1243 controls participating in a national medical screening program for older construction workers between 1997 and 2013. Qualitative exposure indices were developed based on lifetime work and exposure histories. RESULTS: Approximately 18% (95% CI = 2-24%) of COPD risk can be attributed to construction-related exposures, which are additive to the risk contributed by smoking. A measure of all VGDF exposures combined was a strong predictor of COPD risk. CONCLUSIONS: Construction workers are at increased risk of COPD as a result of broad and complex effects of many exposures acting independently or interactively. Control methods should be implemented to prevent worker exposures, and smoking cessation should be promoted.
Aged, 80 and over
Air Pollutants, Occupational
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1002/ajim.22495
Publication InfoDement, John; Welch, Laura; Ringen, Knut; Quinn, Patricia; Chen, Anna; & Haas, Scott (2015). A case-control study of airways obstruction among construction workers. Am J Ind Med, 58(10). pp. 1083-1097. 10.1002/ajim.22495. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10755.
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Professor Emeritus in Family Medicine and Community Health
Research interest focus on occupational and environmental epidemiology including exposure assessments for epidemiological studies. Exposure assessments involve the development of new and innovative exposure assessment methods and application of these methods to cohort and case-control studies of exposed populations. Research topics include occupational lung diseases and occupational and environmental carcinogens such as asbestos fibers, man-made fibers, and benzene. Epidemiological studi