A case-control study of airways obstruction among construction workers.
BACKGROUND: While smoking is the major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), occupational exposures to vapors, gases, dusts, and fumes (VGDF) increase COPD risk. This case-control study estimated the risk of COPD attributable to occupational exposures among construction workers. METHODS: The study population included 834 cases and 1243 controls participating in a national medical screening program for older construction workers between 1997 and 2013. Qualitative exposure indices were developed based on lifetime work and exposure histories. RESULTS: Approximately 18% (95% CI = 2-24%) of COPD risk can be attributed to construction-related exposures, which are additive to the risk contributed by smoking. A measure of all VGDF exposures combined was a strong predictor of COPD risk. CONCLUSIONS: Construction workers are at increased risk of COPD as a result of broad and complex effects of many exposures acting independently or interactively. Control methods should be implemented to prevent worker exposures, and smoking cessation should be promoted.
Dement, J; Welch, L; Ringen, K; Quinn, P; Chen, A; Haas, S
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)