IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 2163: Influence of Childhood Asthma and Allergies on Occupational Exposure in Early Adulthood: A Prospective Cohort Study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
We aimed to determine whether history of asthma/allergies in childhood was associated with avoidance of jobs with exposure to asthmagens in early adulthood. The Melbourne Atopic Cohort Study recruited 620 children at high risk of allergic diseases at birth (1990–1994). Asthma, hay fever and eczema were evaluated by questionnaires during childhood. A follow-up in early adulthood (mean age: 18 years) collected information on the current job. Occupational exposure to asthmagens/irritants was evaluated using a job-exposure matrix. The association between history of asthma/allergies in childhood and working in a job with exposure to asthmagens/irritants was evaluated by logistic regression, adjusted for age, sex and parental education. Among 363 participants followed-up until early adulthood, 17% worked in a job with exposure to asthmagens/irritants. History of asthma (35%) was not associated with working in an exposed job (adjusted OR: 1.16, 95% CI: 0.65–2.09). Subjects with history of hay fever (37%) and eczema (40%) were more likely to enter exposed jobs (significant for hay fever: 1.78, 1.00–3.17; but not eczema: 1.62, 0.91–2.87). In conclusion, young adults with history of allergies were more likely to enter exposed jobs, suggesting no avoidance of potentially hazardous exposures. Improved counselling against high risk jobs may be needed for young adults with these conditions.