Adult onset asthma in non‐allergic women working in dampness damaged buildings: A retrospective cohort study

Source: Pål Graff, Ing‐Liss Bryngelsson, Mats Fredrikson, Ulf Flodin, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, First published: 24 January 2019
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background:
There is still no consensus about the association between working in dampness‐damaged buildings and new onset of asthma among adults. The purpose of this study was to assess asthma in the staff of two psychiatric clinics where some premises were suffering from dampness.

Methods: A 20‐year retrospective cohort study was performed using questionnaires.

Results: Incidence rate ratios (IRR) for asthma were non‐significantly elevated (IRR = 2.3) among exposed individuals. The risk was greater among females (IRR = 3.5, 95% CI 1.0‐16). IRR for non‐atopic women was 8.8 (95% CI 1.4‐196). Adjusting for smoking habits weakened the risks marginally (IRR = 7.3, 95% CI 1.1‐167). The number of male participants was too low to draw conclusion regarding the risk for men.

Conclusion:
The results suggest that working in dampness‐damaged buildings might be a possible health hazard. This finding is most pronounced in non‐atopic females.