Turkish Thoracic Journal
Original Article

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Work-Related Asthma in Hospital Cleaning Workers


Unit of Occupational Medicine, Mersin City Training and Research Hospital, Mersin, Turkey


Occupational Diseases Clinic, Ankara Occupational and Environmental Diseases Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


Occupational Diseases Clinic, Atatürk Chest Diseases and Chest Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey


Occupational Diseases Clinic, Zonguldak Atatürk State Hospital, Zonguldak, Turkey


Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


Department of Chest Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Turk Thorac J 2022; 23: 203-209
DOI: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2022.21183
Read: 450 Downloads: 155 Published: 01 May 2022

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and evaluate the risk factors of work-related asthma among professional hospital cleaning workers.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In total, 278 cleaning workers were interviewed (response rate: 75.7%), and pulmonary function tests were performed. The presence of asthma and its work-relatedness was evaluated. Serial peak expiratory flow measurements were planned according to symptoms increased at work or spirometric findings.

RESULTS: Totally 40 cleaning workers had asthma (14.3%); of these, 17 (6.1%) had work-related asthma, and 23 (8.2%) had non-work- related asthma. Non-work-related asthma and work-related asthma were significantly associated with the females(odds ratio 95% CI: 3.0, 1.1-8.4, and 3.2, 1.0-10.3, respectively). Non-work-related asthma was significantly associated with a family history of asthma (odds ratio 95%CI: 5.1, 2.0-13.2 and 2.8, 0.99-7.9, respectively) and limescale remover use at work (odds ratio, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.04-0.97, and 1.7, 0.5-5.2, respectively). Only 7 (28.0%) of 25 cleaning workers who were suggested serial peak expiratory flow measurements could complete the measurements. Of those, measurements of 2 cleaning workers were consistent with occupational asthma.

CONCLUSION: The negative association between limescale remover use at work and non-work-related asthma suggested health selec- tion bias (avoidance behavior) due to the asthmatic effects of these chemicals.

Cite this article as: Müzeyyen Ecin S, Sandal A, Pınar Çetintepe S, et al. Prevalence and risk factors of work-related asthma in hospital cleaning workers. Turk Thorac J. 2022;23(3):203-209.

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