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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1999;21(2): 266-275.
The Usefulness of the Secondary Database for Occupational Asthma Surveillance System in Korea.
Hyungjune Im, Sungwoo Choi, Jaiyong Kim, Sang Yun Lee, Kijung Yoon, Youngju Lee, Ho Jang Kwon, Daehee Kang, Soo Hun Cho
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National UniversityCollege of Medicine & Institute of Environmental Medicine,SNUMRC.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Dankuk University Collegeof Medicine.
Occupational asthma is defined as a disease that is characterized by airway narrowing and bronchial hyperresponsiveness caused by specific working environment. It is estimated that occupational asthma cases in Korea have been underreported. This study, using Korean Medical Insurance Data(KMID), examined the distribution of asthma patients' occupations and the frequency of high risk occupations for occupational asthma in Seoul, Korea to evaluate the usefulness of the KMID data as a database for active occupational asthma surveillance system. Six hundreds and forty two(30.7%) of 2093 patients who were finally chosen as a study population by using 1995-year KMID, were contacted by telephone. 296 persons(47.4%) of 642 patients replied that they were diagnosed as asthma. The occupations of 296 asthma patients were classified by Korean standardized industrial classfication (KSIC). The most common occupations included Wholesale and Retail trade(19.5%), Real estate, Renting and Business activities(14.9%), Construction(14.9%), Manufacturing(12.3%). Forty(13.5%) of 296 patients who could be classified by KSIC were working at high risk jobs for occupational asthma. KMID could be used as a useful data for occupational asthma surveillance system if the limitations of KMID, which is the accuracy of diagnosis, data accessibility, difficulty of following up study subjects, would be solved. The prevalence of occupational asthma could be estimated if the follow-up study diagnosing occupational asthma for asthma patients working in high risk jobs would be held.
Keywords: Occupational asthma; Surveillance system; Korean medical insurance data; Korean standardized industrial classification


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