We studied, whether asthma diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood affects work ability 20 years later. We used Finnish Defence Force registers, 1986-1990, to select: (1) conscripts with asthma to represent a mild/moderate asthma group (n = 485), (2) asthmatics who were exempted from military service to represent a relatively severe asthma group (n = 393) and (3) a control group (n = 1500) without asthma. A questionnaire consisting of validated questions on asthma and work ability was sent out in 2009. A total of 54% of the men in the first study group, 44% of those in the second study group and 44% of the controls answered. The mean age of the participants was 41 (range 37-51). Self-assessed current work ability compared with lifetime best had decreased in 28.9% of the first asthma group, in 31.1% of the second asthma group, and in 19.7% of the controls (p = 0.0007). Current smoking (OR 2.5), only basic education (OR 2.6), being a manual worker (OR 2.7) and current severe asthma (OR 3.8) associated most strongly with decreased work ability among the asthmatics. Both mild and more severe asthma at the age of around 20 seems to be associated with reduced work ability in 40-year-old males. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lindström, I., Pallasaho, P., Luukkonen, R., Suojalehto, H., Karjalainen, J., Lauerma, A., & Karjalainen, A. (2011). Reduced work ability in middle-aged men with asthma from youth- a 20-year follow-up. Respiratory Medicine, 105(6), 950–955. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2011.01.011