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Asthma caused by irritants in workplace remains symptomatic at follow-up

Published: December 23, 2022

Occupational exposure to high-levels of irritant agents in the air, such as acids, bases, oxidizing agents, or inorganic gases, can cause the development of irritant-induced asthma. The long-term outcome of this type of occupational asthma has remained poorly known.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice recently published a follow-up questionnaire study by Jussi Lantto and his colleagues which assessed the asthma outcome of 43 irritant-induced asthma patients 6 years after their diagnosis. The study compared the results of these patients with those of 43 patients whose asthma was induced by sensitization to chemicals or metals at the workplace.

At follow-up, three-fifths of the irritant-induced asthma patients had poor asthma symptom control, and they showed more frequently symptoms than those with sensitizer-induced asthma. Asthma medication and asthma attacks were comparable between these groups. The majority of the irritant-induced asthma patients who had poor asthma control at time of diagnosis retained this status at follow-up. The results of the study highlight the need for close monitoring of patients who are diagnosed with irritant-induced asthma.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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