IgE Reactivity, Work Related Allergic Symptoms, Asthma Severity, and Quality of Life in Bakers with Occupational Asthma

  • C. BittnerEmail author
  • M. V. Garrido
  • V. Harth
  • A. M. Preisser
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 921)


In Germany, bakers with occupational asthma willing to stay in their job are included in an interdisciplinary program of the Social Accident Insurance for Foodstuff and Catering Industry (BGN). The primary aim is to reduce flour dust exposure, and to provide adequate medical treatment. Our aim was to evaluate the program’s effect on the disease’s course using routinely collected data. Forty three bakers with allergic occupational asthma and with the available baseline level of IgE (f4, f5) were investigated. Changes in IgE related to wheat and rye flour exposure were measured by ImmunoCAP test during follow-up visits. A questionnaire on work-related allergic complaints (WRAC), the Asthma Control Test (ACT), a 10-point scale of asthma severity grade, and quality of life instruments (EQ-5D-5L, Mini-AQLQ) were administered. We found an improvement of asthma severity in 88.4 % of the bakers. WRAC were reported by 65 %; 77 % had good asthma control (ACT ≥ 20); and 81 % had regular asthma medication. A relevant reduction of ≥2 CAP-classes for both allergens was seen in 12 % of the subjects. Health-related and asthma-specific quality of life was high. We conclude that satisfactory asthma control is probably the result of adequate medical management. In a subgroup of bakers with decreased specific IgE, it may also be attributed to reduced allergen exposure.


Asthma control Asthma related quality of life Baker’s asthma Health related quality of life Occupational asthma 



We would like to thank the Clinical Occupational Medicine Team of the institute for implementation and backing the patient examinations. Also we thank the BGN for the disclosure of the data, particularly Dr. Claus Hölzel and Bettina Simonis. We thank Rosalie McDonough for reviewing the manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

CB, MVG, VH and AMP have been paid by the BGN according to the German medical fee schedule for conducting follow-up visits of the bakers. AMP advises the BGN in medical questions about individual cases.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Bittner
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. V. Garrido
    • 1
  • V. Harth
    • 1
  • A. M. Preisser
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Clinical Occupational Medicine, Institute for Occupational and Maritime Medicine (ZfAM)University Medical Center Hamburg-EppendorfHamburgGermany

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