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Industrial Characteristics of Persons Reporting Morbidity During the Health Interview Surveys Conducted in 1969-1974: An Exploratory Review

August 1980
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 80-123

Morbidity data collected on 498,580 individuals between 1969 and 1974 by the Health Interview Surveys (HIS) was presented. Household members were interviewed as to their occupation and health. Industrial categories reporting the most disabilities were forestry and fisheries workers, manufacturers of furniture and fixtures and transportation equipment, medical and health service workers, and federal government employees. The largest users of medical services were the metal industries, manufacturers of electrical machinery, equipment and supplies, transportation equipment and railroad transportation. Disability was low for workers employed in mining and communication. Medical services were used least often by persons in agriculture, forestry and fisheries construction, wood industry, communication, repair services, education, private household workers, and state government and new workers. Manufacturing industries had the largest proportion of persons with work injuries and service industries had the smallest. Elevated morbidity ratios were most common among employees in private household services. The authors conclude that this type of analysis can be used to examine morbidity patterns among industrial groups. They suggest that the HIS data would be useful as a surveillance system for occupational diseases.