Objective: Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases globally. Atopy, and especially allergic rhinitis (AR), was found as an important risk factor for asthma. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between different atopic parameters and military professions to the incidence of asthma. Methods: In a retrospective study, we included 128591 Israel Defense Forces soldiers drafted between the mid-nineties to the early-2000s. We examined the incidence rates of asthma in relation to atopic background and to military profession. Results: The relative risk (RR) for the development of asthma in persons with a history of AR and the RR for asthma in atopics vs. nonatopics was 1.86 (95% CI: 1.57-2.21) and 1.73 (95% CI: 1.47-2.04), respectively. The RR for the development of asthma in persons with a history of AR was higher in Combat Units (CU) and Administrative and Driving units (ADU) (RR=2.80; 95% CI: 2.09-3.76 and RR=1.58; 95% CI: 1.19-2.12, respectively) than in Maintenance Units (MU) (RR=1.27; 95% CI: 0.93-1.74). When comparing the risk for asthma amongst persons with AR, we found it lower in MU compared to ADU (RR=0.65; 95% CI: 0.43-0.97). In atopics vs. non-atopics, the risk for asthma was higher in ADU as compared to other occupations. Conclusions: Atopy, particularly AR, is a risk factor for the development of new-onset asthma in young adults. Atopy has the highest significant effect in CU where the physical demands are higher.
- Environmental development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine