Academic Article


  • 2014

Background: The long-term prognosis of repeated acute episodes of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is not well described. We report on a 10-year follow-up of a 10-person cluster from a Norwegian sawmill who had all experienced relapsing episodes of HP. Objectives: To evaluate the health symptoms, work-related sick-leave, and lung function of 10 workers exposed to mold in a Norwegian sawmill. Methods: Participants were evaluated at baseline and 10 years later at follow-up. A structured interview, measurement of serum IgG antibodies to Rhizopus microsporus (R. microsporus) antigens, lung function tests, high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the chest, and personal measurements of exposure to mold spores and dust were completed for each participant. Results: At baseline, nearly all workers reported acute episodes of HP more than twice a month. At follow-up, both the frequency and intensity of symptoms had declined. Sick-leave was reduced and gas diffusing capacity improved – paralleling the gradually reduced air levels of mold spores. Conclusions: In spite of an initially high occurrence of symptoms, long-term clinical and physiological outcome was good. With reduced exposure to mold spores, symptoms declined and lung function was restored.

Færden, Karl; Lund, May-Brith; Aaløkken, Trond Mogens; Wijnand, Eduard; Søstrand, Per; Langård, Sverre; Kongerud, Johny
International journal of occupational and environmental health 20(2): 167–173
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