218672 Prevalence and Trends of Rheumatic Diseases in the US Workforce

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, MPH , Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine - NIOSH Research Group, Miami, FL
Lora E. Fleming, MD, PhD , Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine - OHH Center and NIOSH Research Group, Miami, FL
David J. Lee, PhD , Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Kristopher L. Arheart, EdD , Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine - NIOSH Research Group, Miami, FL
Katherine E. McCollister, PhD , Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine - NIOSH Research Group, Miami, FL
Peter Muennig, MD, MPH , Department of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University, New York, NY
Tainya Clarke, MPH, MS , Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Jonathan K. Kish, MPH , Ohhc, University of Miami, Key Biscayne, FL
OBJECTIVE: Many of the risk factors for arthritis are poorly understood. Whether arthritis stems from one's occupation or socio-behavioral risk factors, it increases the risk of job loss. We examined the prevalence and trends of physician-diagnosed arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia by occupation, the new National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) industrial sectors, and employment status.

METHODS: Data from the 2004-2008 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a nationally representative sample of US adults (n=131,091) were analyzed.

RESULTS: Overall prevalence of arthritis was 21.70.2%; the prevalence was 14.20.2% for employed adults and varied by occupation (2-fold variation in computer/mathematical occupations [11.21.1%] compared to healthcare support occupations [17.51.0%]). Among the employed adults, arthritis was highest in workers >75 years old (38.6 2.3%), female (16.3 0.2%), non-Hispanic whites (16.5 0.2%), widowed, divorced or separated (21.6 0.4%), obese (16.1 0.2%), and with at least a high school diploma (15.2 0.3%). Rates of specific arthritis conditions (i.e. arthritis (19.30.2%), rheumatoid arthritis (2.30.1%), gout (1.40.1%), lupus (0.30.1%), and fibromyalgia (1.20.1%)) also varied by occupation.

CONCLUSIONS: We found considerable variation in the prevalence of all major forms of arthritis in the US adult workforce. Most adults spend half of their waking hours at work, making the workplace an excellent setting for promoting health. Occupational surveillance for arthritic conditions may support tailored workplace educational and health promotion programs as well as workplace accommodations to improve the quality of the workplace environment.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Chronic disease management and prevention
Epidemiology
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the overall prevalence of arthritis in the US workforce. 2.List the top three industry sectors and occupational groups reporting a high prevalence of arthritis. 3. Discuss arthritis-type specific estimates by occupational group and industry sector.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presenter conducts research as a member a university-based occupational research group. He holds a master of public health (MPH) degree and is board Certified in Public Health (CPH).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.