A case-control study of airways obstruction among construction workers.


Journal Article

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dement, J; Welch, L; Ringen, K; Quinn, P; Chen, A; Haas, S

Published Date

  • October 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 58 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1083 - 1097

PubMed ID

  • 26123003

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26123003

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0274

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ajim.22495


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States