Work-relatedness of selected chronic medical conditions and workers' compensation utilization: National Health Interview Survey occupational health supplement data.
Am J Ind Med 2010 Dec; 53(12):1252-1263
Background: An occupational health supplement (OHS) to the 1988 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) bypassed many limitations of traditional occupational health surveillance systems, but the data collected about chronic work-related conditions have not yet been reported. Methods: We calculated the prevalence and proportion of cases related to work for the aggregation of 13 chronic conditions included in the NHIS-OHS, and for 11 conditions individually. For each of nine conditions, and for the aggregation of all conditions, we also calculated the prevalence of workers' compensation claims filed. Results: The overall prevalence of work-related chronic conditions was 7.5% (SE = 0.16). The work-related conditions with the highest prevalence were repeated trouble with the back/neck/spine (4.91%; SE = 0.13) and trouble hearing (1.14%; SE = 0.06). Overall, workers' compensation claims were filed for 39.0% (SE = 1.00) of work-related cases. Conclusions: The burden of work-related illnesses in the US is substantial, and the workers' compensation system is underutilized.
Analytical-processes; Mathematical-models; Medical-surveys; Occupational-health; Quantitative-analysis; Standards; Statistical-analysis; Surveillance-programs;
Author Keywords: occupational diseases; workers' compensation; back pain; carpal tunnel syndrome; tendonitis; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; pneumoconiosis; hearing loss
Sara E. Luckhaupt, CDC, NIOSH, DSHEFS, 4676 Columbia Parkway, MS R-17, Cincinnati, OH 45226
American Journal of Industrial Medicine