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Nurses at heightened asthma risk

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Nurses are more than twice as likely to develop asthma as the rest of the population, according to a European survey of occupational asthma.

Nurses are more than twice as likely to develop asthma as the rest of the population, according to a European survey of occupational asthma.

Researchers followed up 6,837 people from 13 countries who had previously taken part in a respiratory health survey in the early 90s, when they had no asthma symptoms.

Almost ten years later nurses were found to have a 2.2 times higher risk of developing asthma than the rest of the study population.

Study author Dr Deborah Jarvis, senior lecturer in public health medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London, said: 'Nurses could be exposed to sensitising substances, respiratory allergens and irritants including sterilisers and disinfectants such as glutaraldehyde or bleach.'

Read more on this story in next week's NT, published on Tuesday.

The Lancet (2007) 370: 336-341


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