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Mortality Rates by Occupation among US Workers: The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

Lora E. Fleming, MD PhD, MPH, MSc1, William LeBlanc, Phd1, David James Lee, PhD1, Alberto Juan Caban, BSc1, Orlando Gomez-Marin, PhD, MSc2, and Terry Pitman, BA1. (1) Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, 1801 NW 9th Avenue, Highland Professional Building, Suite 200, Miami, FL 33136, 305-243-6980, Lfleming@med.miami.edu, (2) Epidemiology & Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, Highland Professional Building, 1801 NW 9th Ave, Miami, FL 33136

Objectives: This study examines all cause as well as cause-specific mortality rates of US workers by occupation and by gender.

Methods: The NHIS is a multipurpose household survey of the entire US civilian non-institutionalized population conducted annually since 1957. Over 450,000 US workers, aged 18 years and older, participated in the 1986-1994 NHIS surveys. Mortality information on these participants was collected by the National Center for Health Statistics through linkage with the National Death Index data on deaths occurred through December 31, 1997. The linkage used an algorithm with a match class and score and, on average, has been 97% complete. After adjustment for sample weights and design effects, overall, gender-, cause- and gender-cause- specific mortality rates, adjusted for age using the 2000 US population as a standard, were calculated for all occupations with over 100,000 US workers.

Results: Annual age-adjusted all cause mortality rates (per 1000 workers) were highest for roofers (13.1) followed by painters (12.5) and airplane pilots (11.3). Personnel managers had the lowest annual all cause age-adjusted mortality rate (0.9). Of interest, firefighters also had a low annual all cause mortality rate (1.1). Additional analyses explored the age-adjusted disease-specific mortality by occupation and by gender.

Conclusion: The NHIS database offers an opportunity to investigate the all cause and disease-specific mortality experience by specific occupations among US workers. This provides a unique view of the US worker mortality which can be used to target disease prevention programs, as well as allow for international comparisons with other worker populations.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Occupational Surveillance, Occupational Health

Related Web page: www.rsmas.miami.edu/groups/niehs/niosh/

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Workers' Safety and Health: Posters Plus!

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA