Ji Hyun Kim1, Jin Seon Jeong1, Jinkyeong Park2, Young Ju Jung3, Yoonki Hong4 and Woo Jin Kim4
1Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea, 2Department of Critical Care Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 3Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 4Department of Internal Medicine and Environmental Health Center, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea
Introduction: Although occupational exposure is an important risk factor for development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it has been little known about the effects of occupations exposures for progression of COPD.
Aims and Objectives: To determine the effect of history for occupational exposures on lung function decline in men with COPD.
Methods: Subjects were selected from a Korean COPD cohort, prospectively designed observational study and underwent yearly post bronchodilator spirometry. They were included if they underwent the spirometry at least three times. History of occupational exposures was evaluated for metal, asbestos, fiber, cereal, drugs, paper dust, and chemicals. History of occupational exposures was assessed by two blinded experts for each case. The annual decline of FEV1 was analyzed by random-slope and random-intercept mixed linear regression.
Results: A total 222 patients with COPD were included, and patients with occupational exposures were 49. The mean age was 65.2 (standard deviation: 7.5) years, the mean smoking amount was 46.3 (28.1) pack-years. There were no significant differences in years of age, smoking amount, quality of life, and emphysema extent on CT, according to the presence of occupation exposures. The annual decline rates in FEV1 (ml per year) were significantly different for groups without occupational exposures of -32.9±21.9 compared to groups with occupational exposures of -25.5±19.9 (p = 0.038).
Conclusions: Occupational exposures in men with COPD were associated with slower decline of lung function.