Asthma and Wheeze Prevalence among Nursing Professionals in Western Japan: A Cross-Sectional Study.Int J Environ Res Public Health 2015; 12(12):15459-69IJ
Although adult asthma is attributable to occupational factors, few reports are available on asthma prevalence among health care workers in Japan. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of asthma and wheeze among Japanese nursing professionals. A cross-sectional study was conducted by postal survey using a translated version of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey questionnaire from April to June 2013. The analysis included 4634 nursing professionals (257 men and 4377 women) and the overall response rate was 84.8%. The prevalence of current asthma and wheeze were 10.7% (95% confidence interval (CI), 9.9%-11.7%) and 15.6% (95% CI, 14.5%-16.6%), respectively. More than one year of work experience as a nursing professional and more than one year of experience with bed-making tasks were associated with odds ratios (ORs) of 1.95 (95% CI, 1.12-3.39) and 1.64 (95% CI, 1.15-2.23) for wheeze, respectively. Current smoking was significantly associated with the presence of wheeze, with ORs of 2.27 for men (95% CI, 1.11-4.64) and 2.01 for women (95% CI, 1.54-2.64). Among female nurses, latex allergy was associated with wheeze (OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.56-2.23), as was body mass index ≥30 (OR, 2.76; 95% CI, 1.65-4.62). This study has provided the prevalence of asthma and wheeze among Japanese nursing professionals. Employment period, bed-making tasks, latex allergy, obesity, and smoking may be risk factors for prevalent wheeze among nursing professionals.