Occupational Risk Factors for Asthma among Adult Men and Women in India
Sutapa Agrawal, South Asia Network for Chronic Disease
Occupational asthma remains relatively under-recognised in India with little or no information regarding preventable causes. We studied occupational risk factor for asthma among adult men and women in India. Analysis is based on 124,385 women aged 15–49 years and 74,369 men aged 15–54 years residing in 109,041 households included in India’s NFHS-3/2005–2006. The prevalence OR for current asthma was 34% higher (OR:1.34;95%CI:1.14-1.57;p<0.0001) for men in high-risk occupations, but was 17% lower (OR:0.83;95%CI:0.67-1.03;p=0.089) for women in the same occupations, compared with other occupations. This large population-based nationally representative study has confirmed findings from high income countries showing high prevalence of asthma in men in a number of high-risk occupations; however with no evidence of increased risks for women in the same occupations. Our study adds to the currently sparse evidence on occupational risk factors for asthma in adult Indians, and has identified gender differences in occupational asthma risk.