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Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

, 27:26

First Online: 11 December 2015Received: 28 January 2015Accepted: 21 September 2015DOI: 10.1186-s40557-015-0074-z

Cite this article as: Kim, Y., Jung, K., Ryu, J. et al. Ann of Occup and Environ Med 2015 27: 26. doi:10.1186-s40557-015-0074-z


BackgroundChronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by persistent airflow limitation. Therefore, both work ability and workday length may be affected in individuals with this disease. We studied a worker with suspected COPD and assessed fitness to work using post-bronchodilator spirometry, symptom assessment scales, and the exercise stress test.

Case reportThe patient was a 58-year-old man due to work as a field supervisor in the ship construction sector. He had a 40 pack-year smoking history and experienced occasional dyspnea when climbing stairs. He visited this hospital to receive cardiopulmonary function tests and to determine his ability to work. Post-bronchodilator spirometry revealed severe irreversible airway obstruction corresponding to a modified Medical Research Council grade of 2 on the dyspnea scale. His COPD Assessment Test score was 12, placing him in patient group D high risk, more symptoms based on the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease classification system. His maximum oxygen uptake VO2max was determined to be 19.16 ml-kg-min, as measured by the exercise stress test, and his acceptable workload for 8 h of physical work was calculated to be 6.51 ml-kg-min. His work tasks required an oxygen demand of 6.89 ml-kg-min, which exceeded the acceptable workload calculated. Accordingly, he was advised to adjust the work tasks that were deemed inappropriate for his exercise capacity.

ConclusionAs COPD incidence is expected to rise, early COPD diagnosis and determination of fitness to work is becoming increasingly important. Performing the exercise stress test, to evaluate the functional capacity of workers with COPD, is considered an acceptable solution.

KeywordsChronic obstructive pulmonary disease Fitness to work Exercise stress test  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Yewon Kim - Kyungyong Jung - Ji Young Ryu - Dae Hwan Kim - Sangyoon Lee

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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