Respiratory health among office workers in Malaysia and endotoxin and (1,3)-β-glucan in office dust
METHODS: Health data were collected using a questionnaire, sensitisation testing and measurement of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO). Indoor temperature, relative air humidity (RH) and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured in the offices and settled dust was vacuumed and analysed for endotoxin and (1,3)-β-glucan concentrations. Associations were analysed by two level multiple logistic regression.
RESULTS: Overall, 9.6% of the workers had doctor-diagnosed asthma, 15.5% had wheeze, 18.4% had daytime attacks of breathlessness and 25.8% had elevated FeNO (≥25 ppb). The median levels in office dust were 11.3 EU/mg endotoxin and 62.9 ng/g (1,3)-β-glucan. After adjusting for personal and home environment factors, endotoxin concentration in dust was associated with wheeze (P = 0.02) and rhinoconjunctivitis (P = 0.007). The amount of surface dust (P = 0.04) and (1,3)-β-glucan concentration dust (P = 0.03) were associated with elevated FeNO.
CONCLUSION: Endotoxin in office dust could be a risk factor for wheeze and rhinoconjunctivitis among office workers in mechanically ventilated offices in a tropical country. The amount of dust and (1,3)-β-glucan (a marker of indoor mould exposure) were associated with Th2 driven airway inflammation.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor 2: Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor 3: Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor 4: United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health, UKM Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Department of Community Health, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 5: Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University and University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
Publication date: November 1, 2019
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