METHODS: A case-control study was performed in 120 workers of seven bakeries of Havana, Cuba, mean age 38 years (range 18-70), and 120 subjects as control group, mean age 35 years (range 18-66). For each subject, a clinical and occupational history was compiled and skin testing was performed. All of subjects accepted to participate in the study by informed consent. The relationship between allergic respiratory diseases, sensitization and other factors was analyzed through the adjustment of multivariate logistic regressions and correlation analysis.
RESULTS: Bakery workers showed greater frequency (20.8%) of asthma than the control group (8.3%, p = 0.006) and high sensitization values to wheat (40%), soy (34.2%) yeast (30%), and storage mites (A. siro: 45.8%, T. putrescentae: 48.3%, L. destructor: 44.2%). Bakers with a family history were 4 to 5 times more likely to suffer allergic diseases. Occupational exposure in bakeries was a significant risk factor for asthma with OR of 2.75.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a high sensitization to mites, particularly to the storage mites and allergens from wheat flour in bakers, which represent a risk factor to be considered for occupational safety.