HealthDay News — There is state-specific variation in the prevalence of current asthma among employed adults, which depends on industry and occupation, according to a study published online December 2 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Katelynn E. Dodd, MPH, and Jacek M. Mazurek, MD, from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, examined industry-specific and occupation-specific proportions of adults with current asthma by state. Data were analyzed from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) industry and occupation module. The data were collected from 21 states for participants aged ≥18 years who were employed or had been out of work for less than 12 months at the time of the survey. 

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The researchers found that 7.7% of the respondents had current asthma; based on the results of the Asthma Call-back Survey, as many as 2.7 million U.S. workers may have asthma caused by or exacerbated by workplace conditions. The prevalence of current asthma was highest among workers in the information industry in Massachusetts and in health care support occupations in Michigan (18 and 21.5%, respectively).

“Analysis of BRFSS industry and occupation and optional asthma modules can be used to identify industries and occupations to assess for asthma among workers, identify workplace exposures, and guide the design and evaluation of effective work-related asthma prevention and education programs,” the authors write.

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