Bakery work, atopy and the incidence of self-reported hay fever and rhinitis.
The aims of this study were to estimate the risk to bakers of developing hay fever and rhinitis, to assess the modifying effect of atopy and to estimate the occurrence of job change due to nasal symptoms. A retrospective cohort study was performed among bakers trained in Swedish trade schools from 1961 to 1989 (n=2,923). School control subjects (n=1,258) comprised students in other programmes in the trade schools and population controls (n=1,258) were randomly selected from the general population. A questionnaire on hay fever, rhinitis, the year of onset of these diseases, change of work due to nasal symptoms and work history was mailed to all participants. The atopic state of the responders was assessed by questions on allergic diseases in childhood and among next of kin. Incidence rates for hay fever and other rhinitis were calculated. The relative risk (RR) for hay fever when working as a baker compared with all control subjects combined was increased in males (RR=1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-2.9). The RR for rhinitis in male bakers compared with combined control subjects was 2.8 (95% CI 2.3-3.4) and for female bakers 2.0 (1.6-2.7). Of the bakers, 6.1% had changed job due to nasal symptoms, significantly more than the controls. A history of respiratory atopy increased the incidence rates of hay fever and rhinitis, with a synergistic effect between atopy and bakery work in males. In conclusion, Swedish bakers, mainly working in the 1970s and 1980s, had an approximately doubled risk of developing rhinitis. Male bakers also had an increased risk for hay fever. There was a synergistic effect of bakery work and atopy such as a family history of hay fever. Bakers also changed job due to nasal symptoms more often than control subjects. (+info
Histamine release upon adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP) nasal provocation in allergic subjects.
BACKGROUND: Nasal provocation with adenosine 5'-monophosphate (AMP) elicits nasal symptoms in subjects with rhinitis. Histamine released from mast cells may play a part in AMP induced nasal responses. METHODS: Symptoms of rhinitis were recorded and histamine release in the fluid obtained by nasal lavage after AMP, guanosine 5'-monophosphate (GMP), and placebo instillations was measured in nine subjects with allergic rhinitis and nine non-allergic controls in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled study. RESULTS: No symptoms or significant increases in histamine were observed after GMP and placebo challenge. Significantly higher levels of histamine were seen in the nasal lavage fluids of allergic subjects following AMP challenge than in nonallergic controls, the median (range) histamine concentration increasing from the baseline value of 1.62 (0.44-6.99) ng/ml to 6.45 (0.81-16.17) ng/ml at three minutes. No increase in histamine levels was seen in the non-allergic subjects in whom the median histamine concentration was 1.13 (0.29-4.25) ng/ml at baseline and 0.97 (0.31-5.89) ng/ml three minutes after AMP challenge. CONCLUSIONS: AMP elicits an immediate rise in histamine levels in the nasal lavage fluid of allergic subjects compared with non-allergic individuals. These findings indicate that the exaggerated nasal response to adenosine may reflect mast cell priming in vivo, thus supporting its application as a potential new marker of allergic inflammation. (+info
Nasal nocardiosis in a calf.
Nasal nocardiosis was found in a female Japanese Black calf, 11 months of age. Macroscopically, the posterior half of the left nasal passage was completely obstructed by yellowish brown caseous substance and the mucosa was irregularly thickened. In the brain, a few soft brown foci were present in the olfactory bulb and frontal lobe. Microscopically, there were closely packed granulomas in the nasal cavity and brain. The lesions were characterized by a center of cellular debris surrounded by epithelioid macrophages, neutrophils, lymphocytes and multinucleated giant cells of the Langhans type. Special stains revealed the presence of a large number of filamentous branching gram-positive, partially acid-fast organisms in these epithelioid cells and giant cells, and in cellular debris. (+info
24 hour and fractionated profiles of adrenocortical activity in asthmatic patients receiving inhaled and intranasal corticosteroids.
BACKGROUND: As both rhinitis and asthma are allergic conditions, they frequently occur together. The objective of this study was to assess the diurnal adrenocortical activity in asthmatics receiving inhaled (inh) and intranasal (n) formulations of two different corticosteroids, fluticasone propionate (FP) and triamcinolone acetonide (TAA), both given at clinically recommended doses. METHODS: Twelve stable moderately severe asthmatic subjects of mean age 23.9 years and mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 84% predicted were recruited into a randomised placebo (PL) controlled two-way crossover study comparing nPL + inhPL, nPL + inhFP (880 micrograms bid), and nFP (200 micrograms once daily) + inhFP (880 micrograms bid) with nPL + inhPL, nPL + inhTAA (800 micrograms bid) and nTAA (220 micrograms once daily) + inhTAA (800 micrograms bid), each given for five days with a 10 day washout period. Twenty four hour integrated and fractionated (overnight, 08.00 hours, daytime) serum cortisol levels and urinary cortisol/creatinine excretion were measured. RESULTS: For 24 hour and fractionated serum cortisol levels and corrected urinary cortisol/creatinine excretion there were significant (p < 0.05) differences between all active treatments and placebo. For 24 hour integrated serum cortisol levels the ratio between inhaled TAA and FP was 2.3 fold (95% CI 1.2 to 4.3), and for 24 hour urinary cortisol/creatinine excretion the ratio was two-fold (95% CI 1.2 to 3.4). For 24 hour urinary cortisol excretion, with all active treatments, individual abnormal low values of < 40 nmol (< 14.4 micrograms) occurred in 17/24 with FP compared with 4/24 with TAA (p < 0.0005). The 24 hour serum cortisol profile was flattened by FP but not with TAA. The addition of nasal corticosteroid did not produce further significant suppression of mean cortisol values, although with intranasal FP there were three more abnormal values for 24 hour urinary cortisol excretion than with inhaled FP alone. CONCLUSIONS: Both inhaled FP and TAA caused significant suppression of adrenocortical activity which was twice as great with FP, the latter being associated with significantly more individual abnormal values and loss of the normal diurnal circadian rhythm. Fractionated serum cortisol levels and urinary cortisol/creatinine excretion were as sensitive as the respective integrated 24 hour measurements. Although the addition of intranasal formulations did not produce further significant suppression of mean values, there were more individual abnormal cortisol values associated with the addition of intranasal FP. (+info
Respiratory symptoms and home environment in children: a national survey.
BACKGROUND: Respiratory diseases are common in childhood and may lead to chronic disease in adult life; environmental factors probably play an important part in their causation. METHODS: A survey of respiratory symptoms in children aged 12-14 years was conducted throughout Great Britain as part of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Information was obtained on certain aspects of the home environment in order to assess their importance as risk factors. RESULTS: The response rate was 79.3%, and 25,393 children in 93 schools participated. In a multiple regression analysis, wheeze was reported more often in nonmetropolitan areas and in association with active smoking, passive smoking, the presence of a furry pet, bottled gas, paraffin, and other unusual heating fuels; small regional differences persisted. Current smoking, previous smoking, and passive smoking accounted for 10.4%, 6.8%, and 6.5%, respectively, of wheezing in the past 12 months, and furry pets accounted for 5.0%. Cough and phlegm were associated with active and passive smoking and with the miscellaneous fuels; similar associations were found for rhinitis, but were less consistent for rhinitis occurring in spring and summer. Gas cooking showed little association with respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Passive as well as active smoking is an important cause of respiratory symptoms in adolescence. Pets seem to increase the risk of wheeze and rhinitis, and fumes from certain unusual heating fuels may have adverse effects. Home environment and geographical location have independent effects on the prevalence of respiratory symptoms. (+info
Nasal patency and lavage biomarkers in relation to settled dust and cleaning routines in schools.
OBJECTIVES: This study determined the relations between settled dust and cleaning routines in classrooms on one hand, and nasal symptoms, nasal cavity dimensions, and the concentration of selected biomarkers of inflammation in nasal lavage on the other. METHODS: Measurements of settled dust via standardized vacuum cleaning and an investigation of the cleaning routines were performed in 12 randomly selected primary schools in the municipality of Uppsala. Clinical examinations including acoustic rhinometry and nasal lavage were performed in the school environment among 279 school personnel working in the main buildings of the schools. Eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), myeloperoxidase (MPO), lysozyme, and albumin were analyzed in the lavage fluid. The relationships between the medical and hygienic data were analyzed both bivariately and with a multiple regression model controlling for age, gender, smoking, atopy, room temperature, and urban vicinity of the school. RESULTS: The amount of settled dust was positively related to subjective nasal obstruction and smaller nasal cavity dimensions measured with acoustic rhinometry. The noses were less patent, and the levels of ECP or lysozyme in the lavage were increased for the subjects in schools with a lower frequency of floor mopping, a lower frequency of desk cleaning, and where wet mopping was used. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the actual dust levels in Swedish classrooms can affect the occurrence of nasal obstruction among school personnel. A beneficial effect on the clinical signs of the nasal mucosa was observed for a higher frequency of both floor mopping and desk cleaning, whereas the use of wet mopping seemed disadvantageous in comparison with dry mopping. These findings illustrate the need for adequate cleaning procedures to minimize the environmental effects on the airway mucosa. (+info
Prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and eczema among children in 2 Canadian cities: the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood.
BACKGROUND: Wide variations in the prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and eczema have been reported between regions within Canada and between different countries. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) was developed to provide a standardized tool and methodology to ascertain the prevalence of asthma and allergies in different regions. Comparisons of prevalence rates across geographic regions and at different times may help to identify factors that contribute to the development of these conditions in individuals. METHODS: Two Canadian centres, Hamilton and Saskatoon, participated in the ISAAC. A standard questionnaire was distributed through schools and completed by 13- and 14-year-old children and by the parents of 6- and 7-year-old children. Prevalence rates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for asthma, wheezing, rhinitis and eczema. RESULTS: The overall response rates were 75.1% among the children 6 and 7 years old and 68.6% among those 13 and 14 years old. Among the younger children, the lifetime prevalence of asthma was 17.2% in Hamilton and 11.2% in Saskatoon; the corresponding rates among the older children were 19.2% and 12.2% respectively. The prevalence of wheezing in the 12 months before the survey in the younger group was 20.1% in Hamilton and 14.1% in Saskatoon; in the older group it was 30.6% and 24.0% respectively. The prevalence of rhinitis in the 12 months before the survey was 28.6% in Hamilton and 22.6% in Saskatoon in the younger group and 45.8% and 33.8% respectively in the older group. The prevalence of eczema was slightly higher in Saskatoon in both age groups. INTERPRETATION: High prevalence rates of asthma, rhinitis and eczema exist among school children in Hamilton and Saskatoon, similar to rates in other Western countries. Further studies are required to determine the factors associated with the high rates in the 2 regions and possible reasons for the higher rates in Hamilton. (+info
Health surveillance in milling, baking and other food manufacturing operations--five years' experience.
The objective of this study was to describe the incidence of allergic respiratory disease and its outcome in terms of symptoms and jobs, across different flour-using industries. It uses the findings of a health surveillance programme in a large food organization over a five-year period. The population under surveillance consisted of 3,450 employees with exposure to ingredient dusts, of whom 400 were in flour milling, 1,650 in bread baking, 550 in cake baking and 850 in other flour-using operations. A total of 66 employees with either asthma or rhinitis symptoms attributable to sensitization to allergens in the workplace were identified. The majority of these (48/66) had become symptomatic prior to the commencement of the health surveillance programme in 1993. The incidence rates (per million employees per year) for those who developed symptoms between 1993 and 1997 were 550 for flour milling, 1,940 for bread baking, 0 for cake baking and 235 for other flour-using operations. The agent believed to be responsible for symptoms was most commonly grain dust in flour millers and fungal amylase in bread bakers. Wheat flour appeared to have a weaker sensitizing potential than these other two substances. In terms of outcome, at follow-up 18% of symptomatically sensitized employees had left the company. Two of the ex-employees retired through ill health due to occupational asthma. Of those still in employment, 63% described an improvement in symptoms, 32% were unchanged and 4% were worse than when first diagnosed. Over half the cases still in employment were continuing to work in the same job as at the time of diagnosis. (+info