- Occupational dust exposure of any kind is a risk factor for COPD, according to a meta-analysis of 9 studies with almost 11,000 workers.
- In 3 studies analyzing the intensity of exposure, higher exposure to dust was related to higher probability of COPD, indicative of a dose-response relationship.
Why this matters
- Patients with occupational dust exposure should be evaluated for COPD.
- Patients with COPD should be encouraged to reduce occupational dust exposure.
- Meta-analysis of 9 cross-sectional cohort and case-control studies involving 10,906 workers.
- Exposures were to cement dust, mineral dust (2 studies), textile dust, any dust (2 studies), organic dust, quartz dust, and iron oxide dust.
- Funding: Key Research and Development Plan of Shandong Province, China.
- Occupational dust was associated with 51% increased odds of COPD, with adjustment for smoking (pooled aOR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.27-1.79; I2=40%).
- In 3 studies, the odds of COPD increased with higher concentrations of exposure.
- Example of exposure-dependent aORs (95% CIs) from 1 study:
- Low exposure: 1.83 (1.05-3.19).
- Medium exposure: 2.65 (1.54-4.58).
- High exposure: 3.83 (1.93-7.57).
- Publication bias was not found.
- Moderate heterogeneity.
- Mostly cross-sectional, observational designs.