Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2006;32(2):132-138    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.988

Adolescents’ jobs and the course of dermatitis symptoms throughout puberty

by Radon K, Riu E, Dressel H, Windstetter D, Weinmayr G, Weiland S, Vogelberg C, Scharrer EM, Leupold W, von Mutius E, Nowak D

Objectives This study evaluated the course of dermatitis symptoms throughout puberty taking into account occupational exposures in a population-based study.

Methods Participants enrolled in the ISAAC-II (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood) study in Munich and Dresden in 1995 and 1996 were sent a postal questionnaire in 2002 (age at follow-up 16 to 18 years). The questionnaire included items on atopic diseases, jobs, including holiday jobs and vocational training, and potential confounders. The most recent of the adolescents’ jobs held for at least 8 hours a week, and for at least 1 month, were coded according to the ISCO-88 system.

Results Overall, data of 3785 adolescents were included in the analyses. The incidence of dermatitis symptoms during puberty among those without such symptoms at baseline was 7%. Altogether 31% of the participants reported an employment history. Those already employed were more likely to report a new onset of dermatitis symptoms. Jobs associated with a new onset of symptoms were work in the health care sector, vocational training in bakeries, and cleaning. The first 9 months of exposure were particularly relevant for new cases of dermatitis symptoms (odds ratio 3.7, 95% confidence interval 1.5–9.6).

Conclusions Early occupational exposure is associated with the development of symptoms of dermatitis. The types of skin alterations need to be assessed in the next stage of the study.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2002;28(5):328-332