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Médecine du travail du personnel hospitalier

Respiratory symptoms and respiratory-related absence from work among health care workers in Sweden

Auteur     Jeong-Lim Kim
Auteur     Kjell Torén
Auteur     Susanna Lohman
Auteur     Linda Ekerljung
Auteur     Jan Lötvall
Auteur     Bo Lundbäck
Auteur     Eva Andersson
Résumé     Objective. To investigate respiratory symptoms and respiratory-related absence from work among Swedish health care workers (HCW). Methods. From a postal questionnaire study among a general Swedish working population (n=12 186), we identified 2156 HCW (555 assistant nurses, 377 nurses, 109 physicians and 1115 others), including 429 with mainly cleaning tasks (HCW-cleaning). The remaining respondents were classified as non-HCW. Multiple logistic regressions with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to compare respiratory symptoms and related absence from work between HCW and non-HCW, adjusting for potential confounders. Results. The prevalence of adult onset asthma was 4.3% in HCW and 3.0% in non-HCW (p=0.003). Asthmatic symptoms during the past year were reported mainly by HCW-cleaning, 14.7%, in comparison to 8.3% among non-HCW (p<0.0001). HCW had an increased odds ratio (OR) for asthmatic symptoms during the past year (OR 1.3, CI [1.1-1.5]) and more prominent among assistant nurses (OR 1.5 [1.1-2.0]) and HCW-cleaning (OR 1.9 [1.4-2.5]). Respiratory-related absence from work in the past year was reported by 1.4% of non-HCW, 3.0% of HCW-cleaning, 2.9% of nurses and 1.6% of assistant nurses. Taking smoking and age into account, there was still significantly increased respiratory-related absence from work in nurses (OR 2.0 [1.1-3.8]) and in HCW-cleaning (OR 2.1 [1.2-3.7]). Conclusions. HCW in Sweden, especially those with cleaning tasks, reported more respiratory symptoms and respiratory-related absence from work than the general working population. There is a need for longitudinal studies with detailed information on both occupational exposures and socioeconomic factors to explore what influences respiratory-related absence from work among HCW.
Publication     The Journal of asthma: official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma
Date     Jan 7, 2013

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