Allergen Exposure Affects Quality, Quantity of Work

March 21, 2001
Allergen exposure has a negative impact on the quantity and\r\nquality of work among those with allergic rhinitis or asthma,\r\nresearchers reported.

Allergen exposure has a negative impact on the quantity and quality of work among those with allergic rhinitis or asthma, researchers reported Tuesday at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) annual meeting.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School, University of Arizona in Tuscon, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Galt Associates Inc., Blue Bell, Pa., lead by Dr. R.C. Kessler, analyzed the effects of pollen and mold exposure on work performance using data from the National Survey of Daily Experiences (NSDE).

The survey reached 739 employed respondents, including 81 patients with allergic rhinitis, 75 with asthma and 32 with both allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Each respondent assessed impairments in work on a daily basis for a randomly assigned week.

Quality of work was assessed by self-report on reduction in work quality during the assigned week.

Work quality was assessed by three questions including a 1-10 scale rating the magnitude of the work reduction.

Pollen and mold count data from the AAAAI''s National Allergy Bureau were merged with the NSDE data to assess the association of pollen and mold exposure with daily work quality and quantity.

Researchers found that grass pollen exposure and the number of circulating allergens are strong predictors of work impairment.

Kessler and his colleagues concluded that these results reflect the strong association between allergen exposure and its impact on both the quantity and quality of work among those with allergic rhinitis or asthma.

The researchers concluded that the association is particularly strong among those with both disorders.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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