Occupational exposures (smoking + VGDF) increase risk of COPD

Data from the FLOW study of 1202 subjects with COPD and 302 controls were analyzed.

Occupational exposures were assessed using 2 methods:

1. self-reported exposure to vapors, gas, dust or fumes (VGDF) on the longest held job

2. job exposure matrix (JEM) for probability of exposure based on occupation

VGDF exposure was associated with an increased risk of COPD (OR 2.11). The risk associated with high probability of workplace exposure by JEM was similar (OR 2.27).

Joint exposure to both smoking and occupational factors markedly increased the risk of COPD (OR 14.1).

In conclusion, workplace exposures (smoking + VGDF) are strongly associated with an increased risk of COPD.

Work-related Asthma - AAAAI COLA video lecture by David Bernstein, MD, 07/2012:


Occupational exposures and the risk of COPD: dusty trades revisited. P D Blanc et al. Thorax 2009;64:6-12.
In Scotland, passage of smoke-free legislation was associated with 18% decrease in asthma hospitalizations per year http://goo.gl/6LdK

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