Table 2: Criteria for Defining Occupational Asthma Proposed by the American College of Chest Physicians

A  Diagnosis of asthma

B  Onset of symptoms after entering the workplace

C  Association between symptoms of asthma and work

D  One or more of the following criteria:

1         Workplace exposure to an agent or process known to give rise to occupational asthma

2         Significant work-related changes in FEV1 or peak expiratory flow rate

3         Significant work-related changes in nonspecific airway responsiveness

4         Positive response to specific inhalation challenge tests with a an agent to which the patient is exposed at work

5         Onset of asthma with a clear association with a symptomatic exposure to an irritant agent in the workplace (RADS)


Occupational asthma:

·         Medical case definition: A + B + C + D2 or D3 or D4 or D5

·         Likely occupational asthma: A + B + C + D1

·         Work-aggravated asthma: A + C (i.e., the subject was symptomatic or required medication before and had an increase in symptoms or medication requirement after entering a new occupational exposure setting)

  Abbreviations: RADS, reactive airways dysfunction syndrome; FEV1, forced expiratory volume in one second.

  Note: Table 2 appears on page 6 in Asthma in the Workplace, 3rd Ed.

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