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Title: Asthma and occupation in the 1958 birth cohort
Author: Ghosh, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 5991
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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Exposures encountered in the workplace are a common contributor to adult asthma, accounting for an estimated 10% all new or recurrent disease. Work-related asthma is potentially preventable and identification of occupational causes may lead to interventions to reduce its burden. Currently most information about the burden of asthma in the workplace is based on cross-sectional data or surveillance data and no British longitudinal population based studies have been carried out to look at this problem. This study aimed to identify the major occupations and occupational exposures that are associated with respiratory symptoms, asthma and other allergic disease in the British population. This study also aimed to assess the advantages and disadvantages of using a job exposure matrix in exposure assessment for population based asthma research. This study made use of data from the 1958 Birth Cohort. An occupational history from entry to the workforce at age 16 up to age 42 was created. Blind to asthma status over 80,000 jobs were checked and re-coded to the International Standard Classification of Occupations 1988 (ISCO-88) codes. This information was merged with an asthma specific job exposure matrix and underwent an expert review of the exposure assignment and occupational coding. Several job categories and ASJEM exposures were associated with adult onset asthma by age 42. This PhD confirms in a British population existing knowledge about occupations and occupational exposures associated with the development of asthma in working life. In particular it shows consistent evidence of asthma development in those who have ever worked as a cleaner or have been exposed to Low Molecular Weight cleaning chemicals.
Supervisor: Cullinan, Paul ; Jarvis, Debbie Sponsor: Asthma UK ; COLT Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral