Background-It has been suggested that health related job selection is a major cause of the healthy worker effect, and may result in inaccurate estimates of health risks of exposures in the working environment.
Improved understanding of self selection, including the role of airway hyperresponsiveness, should improve accuracy in estimating occupational risks.
Methods-We evaluated symptoms of the respiratory tract, lung function, occupational and smoking histories, and airway responsiveness from a cross sectional survey of 478 underground bituminous coal miners and non-mining controls.
Workers with abnormal spirometry were excluded from methacholine testing.
Methacholine responsiveness (=15% decline in forced expiratory volume in one second) was associated in both miners and controls with reduced ventilatory lung function and an increased risk of respiratory symptoms.
Throughout their mining careers, miners who responded to methacholine were consistently less likely to have worked in dusty jobs than miners who did not respond to methacholine.
Conclusions-These results provide evidence that workers who are employed in dusty jobs are less likely than their unexposed coworkers to show increased non-specific airway responsiveness, presumably as a result of health related job selection.
Surveys of workers in which responsiveness data are unavailable may underestimate the effects of dust exposure on respiratory health.
Mots-clés Pascal : Adaptation, Condition travail, Poste travail, Homme, Mine charbon, Exposition professionnelle, Poussière, Toxicité, Appareil respiratoire pathologie, Hyperréactivité, Fonction respiratoire, Médecine travail, Effet du travailleur en bonne santé
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Adaptation, Working condition, Workplace layout, Human, Coal mine, Occupational exposure, Dust, Toxicity, Respiratory disease, Hyperreactivity, Lung function, Occupational medicine
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0579838
Code Inist : 002B03L03. Création : 01/03/1996.