0370 1500 100

Workplace Stress Linked With Development Of Asthma

Job Insecurity And Stress May Cause New-Onset Asthma


A new study has revealed that individuals who feel under pressure and stressed in the workplace are 60 per cent more likely to develop asthma as a result.

Over 7,000 workers were analysed in the study conducted by experts at the University of Dusseldorf, the University of Amsterdam and New Zealand’s Massey University. It was found that a lack of job security, and the stress it causes, may increase the risk of new-onset asthma.

A total of 105 new cases of asthma were identified during the three-year study, with those concerned about losing their jobs more likely to develop the condition – at 2.12 per cent – compared to those who had no worries in this area – 1.3 per cent.

Researchers identified a link between an increase in asthma incidence and rising job insecurity, with every 25 per cent rise in perceived threat of job loss, the risk of asthma rose by 24 per cent.

The research is the latest study to link new-onset asthma with stress. Dr Samantha Walker, director of Research and Policy at Asthma UK, said: “Years of under-funding of asthma research means that there is still much for us to learn so we urge researchers to explore these findings in more detail.”

If you or a loved one has suffered from respiratory problems - such as occupational asthma or silicosis - caused by conditions at work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
Asthma is a serious condition and affects a significant number of people in Britain, with more than five million people treated every year. To read these reports that suggest the risk of new-onset asthma increases when individuals are stressed and worried about their job is troubling.

“It is vital further funding is dedicated to research in this area and, if necessary, employers are made aware of the link and informed of measures that will help to reduce the number of people who are developing asthma as a result of the stress they suffer at work.

“In our work we have represented a number of people who have developed breathing problems as a result of their employers failing to provide adequate protection or training on the issue, often in relation to dust of hazardous substances. The issues can have a huge impact on sufferers, as they are often forced to leave jobs they love and also need regular medical attention to treat the problems."
Mark Allen, Associate Director

© 2017 Irwin Mitchell LLP is Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Our Regulatory Information.