Respiratory Work Disability in Relation to Occupational Factors

  • Paul D. BlancEmail author
  • Kjell Torén
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook Series in Occupational Health Sciences book series (HDBSOHS, volume 1)


Respiratory work disability refers to compromised work ability due to a respiratory tract condition. Respiratory work disability subsumes the adverse effects on working life of occupational (work-caused) lung disease and extends far beyond that. Whatever the etiology of a disease of the respiratory tract, it can interfere with the ability to be employed fully and productively. Respiratory work disability can be manifested in multiple ways. Although traditionally health-related work disability has been quantified by work cessation or work absences (lost workdays) due to the condition in question, a number of other measures can be used to assess respiratory work disability, for example, change of job, change in job hours, and, while still on the job, decreased work productivity. This chapter will present the findings from a range of studies that have analyzed respiratory work disability in multiple respiratory tract conditions, including asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), rhinitis, cystic fibrosis, and obstructive sleep apnea.


Work disability Occupational impairment Respiratory tract disease Asthma COPD Cystic fibrosis Obstructive sleep apnea 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of MedicineUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska AcademyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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