255034 Occupational health surveillance in New Hampshire: Using the BRFSS to better understand work as a factor in health

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Karla R. Armenti, ScD , New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Concord, NH
Kim Lim, PhD , Bureau of Public Health Statistics & Informatics, Division of Public Health Services, Concord, NH
Research has shown that socio-economic variables can impact a person's health status and health behaviors. However, the relationships between employment variables such as occupation and industry to health status and health behaviors have not been evaluated.

The New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Program has been exploring unique ways to gather work-related injury data. In 2008, workplace injury questions were included in the NH BRFSS survey. The results indicated that nearly 5 percent of respondents had reported work-related injuries requiring medical advice or treatment in the past 12 months. This pilot initiative demonstrated that the BRFSS survey can be a useful tool in occupational safety and health surveillance.

In 2011, New Hampshire included the collection of industry and occupation data from nearly 6,000 respondents in the BRFSS survey. Analysis of these variables will allow us to evaluate the relationship between occupation and industry and health status, prevalence of chronic disease, health behaviors (alcohol and tobacco use) and other health determinants such as obesity and lack of sleep.

We will correlate these results to occupations and industries with high incidence of work-related morbidity and mortality obtained from the Bureau of the Census County Business Patterns. This data set can be stratified into specific occupations and industries.

The results from this study will provide key stakeholders, including the NH Division of Public Health Services and employers; with insights as to what occupations or industries are good candidates for both occupational safety and health interventions and wellness/health promotion initiatives.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Occupational health and safety
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess and demonstrate the relationship between occupations and industries and health status, prevalence of chronic disease, and health behaviors using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.

Keywords: Occupational Surveillance, Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on an occupational health surveillance grant and this is part of our research.
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.