Online Program

Occupational Heat-related Illness in Mississippi

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sirisha Tippani, MHSA, Office of Health Data and Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Lei Zhang, PhD, MSc, MBA, Office of Health Data & Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Meagan Robinson, MPH, Office of Health Data and Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Rodolfo Vargas, MS, Office of Health Data and Research, Mississippi State Department of Health, Jackson, MS
Background: Extensive exposure to heat can cause Heat-related Illness (HRI), such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke. Heat stroke can lead to death or multiple organ dysfunctions. Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in severely hot environments are at risk for HRI.

Methods:  Three years (2010-2012) of aggregated Emergency Department (ED) visit data from the Mississippi Hospital Discharge System was used to identify occupational HRI visits and rates, demographic characteristics, and co-morbid conditions. The HRI cases were identified if at least one HRI code was in the primary diagnosis field or in one of the secondary diagnosis fields.   To reflect the working population, the cases were restricted to individuals aged 16 years or older. The work-related cases were identified if the principal payer is workers’ compensation or if it has any of the work-related ICD-9-CM E-codes.

Results: There were about 214 occupational HRI ED visits, with a rate of 3.2 per 100,000 workers, (95% CI: 2.8-3.6). The occupational HRI ED visit rates decreased significantly from 5.3 in 2010 to 1.6 per 100,000 workers in 2012. The ED visit rates were significantly higher among male workers 6.3 per 100,000, (95% CI: 5.3-7.1) compared to female workers 0.5 per 100,000, (95% CI: 0.2-0.7); and among workers aged 30-34 with a rate of 9.6 per 100,000, (95% CI: 6.6-12.5).

Conclusions: The findings can be used to enhance the existing surveillance system, help the programs to target certain population, and hence decrease the HRL in Mississippi.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe occupational Heat related illness in Mississippi.

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified because I have been an epidemiologist for the past 3 years working on federally funded programs related to asthma, Industry and Occupational illness, and the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring Systems.
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.

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