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Previously we observed an excess risk for occupational asthma among florists with rhinitis. To further evaluate the link between upper and lower airways, we investigated united airways disease in the same occupational group. Occupational history, symptoms and atopy were investigated among 128 florists. Age-, smoking-, and gender-adjusted risks were calculated using logistic regression models comparing symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The prevalence of work-related rhinitis symptoms was 13.3%, conjunctivitis symptoms and asthma-like symptoms were 14.1%. We observed an excess risk of work-related asthma symptoms among florists with work-related conjunctivitis (OR: 8.5, 95% CI: 2.4-29.9) and rhinitis (OR: 13.1, 95% CI: 3.0- 58.0). Florists with positive allergen skin test for flower mix were 13.0 times more likely to have work-related rhinitis and 12.5 times more likely to have work-related conjunctivitis. The observed relationship between work-related asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis is supportive of the concept of the united airways disease.
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