Chronic productive cough and inhalant occupational exposure-a study of the general population

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Purpose Occupational inhalant exposures have been linked with a higher occurrence of chronic productive cough, but recent studies question the association. Methods We included participants from two general population studies, the Copenhagen City General Population Study and the Copenhagen City Heart Study, to assess contemporary (year 2003-2017) and historical (1976-1983) occupational inhalant hazards. Job titles one year prior to study inclusion and an airborne chemical job-exposure matrix (ACE JEM) were used to estimate occupational exposure. The association between occupational exposures and self-reported chronic productive cough was studied using generalized estimating equations stratified by smoking status and cohort. Results The population consisted of 5210 working individuals aged 20-65 from 1976 to 1983 and 64,279 from 2003 to 2017. In smokers, exposure to high levels of mineral dust, biological dust, gases & fumes and the composite variable vapours, gases, dusts or fumes (VGDF) were associated with chronic productive cough in both cohorts with odds ratios in the range of 1.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.0;1.4) to 1.6 (1.2;2.1). High levels of biological dust were only associated with an increased risk of a chronic productive cough in the 2003-2017 cohort (OR 1.5 (1.1;2.0)). In non-smokers, high levels of VGDF (OR 1.5 (1.0;2.3)) and low levels of mineral dust (OR 1.7 (1.1;2.4)) were associated with chronic productive cough in the 1976-1983 cohort, while no associations were seen in non-smokers in the 2003-2017 cohort. Conclusion Occupational inhalant exposure remains associated with a modestly increased risk of a chronic productive cough in smokers, despite declining exposure levels during the past four decades.

TidsskriftInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Sider (fra-til)1033–1040
StatusUdgivet - 2021

ID: 257782410