Airborne Occupational Exposures and Lung Function in the Lifelines Cohort Study

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Abstract

Rationale: The association between airborne occupational exposures and lung function level is inconsistent in the general population. Moreover, little is known about the association between occupational exposures and annual lung function decline.

Objectives: We investigated the association between occupational exposures and lung function level and annual lung function decline in the population-based Lifelines cohort study.

Methods: We included 55,631 adults with baseline spirometry and reliable job code-13,759 of these subjects were aged >= 30 years and underwent spirometry again after 4.5 years of follow-up. Occupational exposures in the current or last-held job at baseline were estimated with the ALOHA1 job-exposure matrix. Linear regression analyses adjusted for covariates were used to test the association between each occupational exposure-biological dust, mineral dust, gases and fumes, pesticides, solvents, and metals-and lung function level and annual lung function decline. Interactions were used to test effect modification by sex or smoking.

Results: Exposures to biological dust, mineral dust, gases and fumes, insecticides, fungicides, and aromatic solvents were associated with a lower lung function level at baseline. The effects were larger in males and smokers compared with females and nonsmokers, respectively. However, no association between occupational exposures and the rate of annual lung function decline was found between baseline and follow-up.

Conclusions: In this study, airborne occupational exposures are associated with lower lung function level but not with a faster lung function decline. These negative effects are more pronounced among males and smokers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Volume18
Issue number1
Early online date14-Aug-2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2021

Keywords

  • occupational exposure
  • lung function/forced expiratory volume
  • lung function decline
  • OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY-DISEASE
  • DUST EXPOSURE
  • GENDER-DIFFERENCES
  • FUNCTION DECLINE
  • LONGITUDINAL DECLINE
  • AIRWAY-OBSTRUCTION
  • ASSOCIATION
  • POPULATION
  • SMOKING
  • RISK

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