Social consequences and quality of life in work-related asthma

  • Olivier Vandenplas
  • Vinciane D’Alpaos
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


Work-related asthma can interfere with patient’s daily life, including professional, familial, and social activities. Occupational asthma (OA) is associated with a high rate of prolonged work disruption and loss of income. Available information indicates that work-exacerbated asthma has a negative socio-economic impact to the same extent as OA. The socio-economic outcome seems to be predominantly influenced by professional and socio-demographic factors. Adverse professional and economic consequences are more pronounced when workers have to leave their workplace because of reduced possibilities for accommodation in unexposed jobs within the same company or lack of effective retraining programs. The socio-economic outcome is also affected by the age and the level of education of affected workers. There is growing evidence that work-related asthma is associated with a lower quality of life than asthma unrelated to work.


Allergy Clin Immunol Occupational Asthma Natural Rubber Latex Socioeconomic Outcome Related Asthma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Vandenplas O, Malo JL. Definitions and types of work-related asthma: A nosological approach. Eur Respir J 2003; 21: 706–12CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Leigh JP, Romano PS, Schenker MB, Kreiss K. Costs of occupational COPD and asthma. Chest 2002; 121: 264–72CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Balmes J, Becklake M, Blanc P, Henneberger P, Kreiss K, Mapp C, et al. American Thoracic Society Statement: Occupational contribution to the burden of airway disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2003; 167: 787–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Driscoll T, Nelson DI, Steenland K, Leigh J, Concha-Barrientos M, Fingerhut M, et al. The global burden of non-malignant respiratory disease due to occupational airborne exposures. Am J Ind Med 2005; 48: 432–45CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    American Thoracic Society. Guidelines for the evaluation of impairment/disability in patients with asthma. Am Rev Respir Dis 1993; 147: 1056–61Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yacoub MR, Lavoie K, Lacoste G, Daigle S, L’Archeveque J, Ghezzo H, et al. Assessment of impairment/disability due to occupational asthma through a multidimensional approach. Eur Respir J 2007; 29: 889–896CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vandenplas O, Toren K, Blanc PD. Health and socioeconomic impact of work-related asthma. Eur Respir J 2003; 22: 689–97CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Weiss KB, Sullivan SD. The health economics of asthma and rhinitis. I. Assessing the economic impact. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001; 107: 3–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sullivan SD, Weiss KB. Health economics of asthma and rhinitis. II. Assessing the value of interventions. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001; 107: 203–10CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Liss GM, Tarlo SM, Banks D, Yeung KS, Schweigert M. Preliminary report of mortality among workers compensated for work-related asthma. Am J Ind Med 1999; 35: 465–71CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Liss GM, Tarlo SM, Macfarlane Y, Yeung KS. Hospitalization among workers compensated for occupational asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000; 162: 112–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lemiere C, Forget A, Dufour MH, Boulet LP, Blais L. Characteristics and medical resource use of asthmatic subjects with and without work-related asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2007; 120: 1354–9CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gannon PF, Weir DC, Robertson AS, Burge PS. Health, employment, and financial outcomes in workers with occupational asthma. Br J Ind Med 1993; 50: 491–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Marabini A, Dimich-Ward H, Kwan SY, Kennedy SM, Waxler-Morrison N, Chan-Yeung M. Clinical and socioeconomic features of subjects with red cedar asthma. A follow-up study. Chest 1993; 104: 821–4CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dewitte JD, Chan-Yeung M, Malo JL. Medicolegal and compensation aspects of occupational asthma. Eur Respir J 1994; 7: 969–80PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cannon J, Cullinan P, Newman Taylor A. Consequences of occupational asthma. BMJ 1995; 311: 602–3PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ameille J, Pairon JC, Bayeux MC, Brochard P, Choudat D, Conso F, et al. Consequences of occupational asthma on employment and financial status: A follow-up study. Eur Respir J 1997; 10: 55–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gassert TH, Hu H, Kelsey KT, Christiani DC. Long-term health and employment outcomes of occupational asthma and their determinants. J Occup Environ Med 1998; 40: 481–91CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ross DJ, McDonald JC. Health and employment after a diagnosis of occupational asthma: A descriptive study. Occup Med (Lond) 1998; 48: 219–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Larbanois A, Jamart J, Delwiche JP, Vandenplas O. Socio-economic outcome of subjects experiencing asthma symptoms at work. Eur Respir J 2002; 19: 1107–13CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Leira HL, Bratt U, Slastad S. Notified cases of occupational asthma in Norway: Exposure and consequences for health and income. Am J Ind Med 2005; 48: 359–64CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Piirila PL, Keskinen HM, Luukkonen R, Salo SP, Tuppurainen M, Nordman H. Work, unemployment and life satisfaction among patients with diisocyanate induced asthma — A prospective study. J Occup Health 2005; 47: 112–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Blanc PD, Cisternas M, Smith S, Yelin EH. Asthma, employment status, and disability among adults treated by pulmonary and allergy specialists. Chest 1996; 109: 688–96CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Yelin E, Henke J, Katz PP, Eisner MD, Blanc PD. Work dynamics of adults with asthma. Am J Ind Med 1999; 35: 472–80CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Balder B, Lindholm NB, Lowhagen O, Palmqvist M, Plaschke P, Tunsater A, et al. Predictors of self-assessed work ability among subjects with recent-onset asthma. Respir Med 1998; 92: 729–34CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Blanc PD, Ellbjar S, Janson C, Norback D, Norrman E, Plaschke P, et al. Asthma-related work disability in Sweden. The impact of workplace exposures. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1999; 160: 2028–33PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Blanc PD, Trupin L, Eisner M, Earnest G, Katz PP, Israel L, et al. The work impact of asthma and rhinitis: Findings from a population-based survey. J Clin Epidemiol 2001; 54: 610–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sauni R, Oksa P, Vattulainen K, Uitti J, Palmroos P, Roto P. The effects of asthma on the quality of life and employment of construction workers. Occup Med (Lond) 2001; 51: 163–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Birnbaum HG, Berger WE, Greenberg PE, Holland M, Auerbach R, Atkins KM, et al. Direct and indirect costs of asthma to an employer. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2002; 109: 264–70CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    McClellan VE, Garrett JE. Asthma and the employment experience. N Z Med J 1990; 103: 399–401PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lemiere C, Pelissier S, Chaboillez S, Teolis L. Outcome of subjects diagnosed with occupational asthma and work-aggravated asthma after removal from exposure. J Occup Environ Med 2006; 48: 656–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Baiardini I, Braido F, Brandi S, Canonica GW. Allergic diseases and their impact on quality of life. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2006; 97: 419–28; quiz 429-30, 476CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Malo JL, Boulet LP, Dewitte JD, Cartier A, L’Archeveque J, Côté J, et al. Quality of life of subjects with occupational asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1993; 91: 1121–7CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Vandenplas O, Jamart J, Delwiche JP, Evrard G, Larbanois A. Occupational asthma caused by natural rubber latex: Outcome according to cessation or reduction of exposure. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2002; 109: 125–30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lowery EP, Henneberger PK, Rosiello R, Sama SR, Preusse P, Milton DK. Quality of life of adults with workplace exacerbation of asthma. Qual Life Res 2007; 16: 1605–13CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Moscato G, Dellabianca A, Perfetti L, Brame B, Galdi E, Niniano R, et al. Occupational asthma: A longitudinal study on the clinical and socioeconomic outcome after diagnosis. Chest 1999; 115: 249–56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Venables KM, Davison AG, Newman Taylor AJ. Consequences of occupational asthma. Respir Med 1989; 83: 437–40CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Wild DM, Redlich CA, Paltiel AD. Surveillance for isocyanate asthma: A model based cost effectiveness analysis. Occup Environ Med 2005; 62: 743–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser / Springer Basel 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivier Vandenplas
    • 1
  • Vinciane D’Alpaos
    • 1
  1. 1.Service de Pneumologie, Cliniques de Mont-GodinneUniversité Catholique de LouvainYvoirBelgium

Personalised recommendations