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Table 1 Characteristics of the apprentice cohort at baseline (% (n), mean [sd]).

From: Associations of airway inflammation and responsiveness markers in non asthmatic subjects at start of apprenticeship

  Males Females Total
n 56.9% (251) 43.1% (190) 441
Training track    
Bakery 60.6% (152) 4.7% (9) 36.5% (161)
Pastry 34.7% (87) 12.6% (24) 25.2% (111)
Hairdressing 4.8% (12) 82.6% (157) 38.3% (169)
Age (years) 16.8 [1.1] 17.1 [1.7] 16.9 [1.4]
Body Mass Index 22.1 [4.1] 21.9 [3.7] 22.0 [3.9]
Tobacco consumption    
   Current smokers 51.4% (129) 41.1% (78) 46.9% (207)
Age at starting smoking 14.0 [1.6] 13.7 [1.8] 13.9 [1.7]
Pack years 1.7 [1.6] 1.7 [1.6] 1.7 [1.6]
   Past smokers 2.0% (5) 4.2% (8) 3.0% (13)
   Non-smokers 46.6% (117) 54.7% (104) 50.1% (221)
Atopy in family* 32.7% (82) 40.0% (76) 35.8% (158)
Clinical atopy† 20.7% (52) 20.5% (39) 20.6% (91)
Personal atopy‡ (97 missing data) 35.7% (70) 25.7% (38) 31.4% (108)
Baseline spirometry§    
   Missing data (% (n)) 1.6% (4) 1.1% (2) 1.4% (6)
   FEV1 91.4 [11.0] 93.6 [9.5] 92.3 [10.4]
   FVC 90.7 [12.0] 92.0 [10.6] 91.3 [11.4]
   FEV1/FVC (%) 101.3 [8.4] 102.0 [7.0] 101.6 [7.9]
Baseline airway resistance (kPa.L.s-1) 0.25 [0.07] 0.29 [0.06] 0.27 [0.07]
MBC test    
   Airways responsiveness    
Missing data (% (n)) 3.2% (8) 1.6% (3) 2.5% (11)
MBC+ >20% 6.6% (16) 5.3% (10) 6.0% (26)
MBC+ 15 to 20% 8.2% (20) 7.0% (13) 7.7% (33)
   Airway resistance    
Rrs4-16 increase (%)||    
>54.6% 7.4% (18) 4.5% (8) 6.2% (26)
>42.3% and <54.6% 9.1% (22) 6.2% (11) 7.8% (33)
<42.3% 83.5% (202) 89.4% (160) 86.0% (362)
Clinical indicators of airway inflammation    
   Rhinoconjunctivitis-like symptoms¶ 8.8% (22) 12.1% (23) 10.2% (45)
   Asthma-like symptoms# 3.2% (8) 5.3% (10) 4.1% (18)
Quantitative indicators of airway inflammation    
   FENO in percent predicted**    
>225% 6.6% (15) 6.8% (11) 6.7% (26)
>140% and <225% 8.7% (20) 8.0% (13) 8.4% (33)
<140% 84.7% (194) 85.2% (138) 84.9% (332)
Eosinophil count in nasal fluid lavage    
   Missing data (% (n)) 13.5% (34) 8.9% (17) 11.6% (51)
   >1% 6.5% (14) 6.4% (11) 6.4% (25)
   >14% 8.3% (18) 4.6% (8) 6.7% (26)
  1. Rrs4-16: mean oscillatory resistance from 4 to 16 Hz; MBC Methacholine Bronchial Challenge test.
  2. * asthma or allergy in siblings and/or parents; † hay fever and/or eczema in childhood and/or asthma in childhood; ‡ defined as a positive response to at least one common allergen at the Skin Prick Tests
  3. § in percent predicted according to the European Respiratory Society
  4. || increase = 100.(maximum of Rrs after methacholine inhalation - baseline Rrs)/baseline Rrs
  5. ¶ in case of itchy, runny, stuffy nose, or sneezes and/or about red, burning or weeping eyes, excepted during a respiratory infection
  6. # in case of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or cough, excepted during a respiratory infection or under exercise condition;** according to gender, tobacco usage status and personal atopy ([13])