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Comparison of death certificate occupation and industry data with lifetime occupational histories obtained by interview: variations in the accuracy of death certificate entries.
Am J Ind Med 1988; 14(2):121-136
The accuracy of death certificate entries for occupation and industry were assessed using lifetime occupational histories obtained by interview. A total of 2,435 cancer cases diagnosed between November 1984 and June 1986 were included in the study based on the Occupational Cancer Incidence Surveillance System and the Michigan Cancer Foundation Division of Epidemiology's Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System. Interviews provided the occupation and industry titles of all part time and full time jobs ever held, a description of job responsibilities for each, and the duration of each job. Death certificate data obtained from microfilm copies of the Michigan death certificate included a single entry for usual occupation and industry. Match rates were determined as the percent of death certificate entries confirmed by interview data using the three digit 1980 United States Census Bureau occupation and industry codes. The match rates for exact usual occupation and exact usual industry were 47.9 and 61.8 percent, respectively. The match rates for exact or grouped usual occupation and exact or grouped usual industry were 57.9 and 71 percent, respectively. The respective match rates for exact and grouped usual and recent occupation and for exact and grouped usual and recent industry were 66.3 and 79.7 percent. The match analyses were discussed on the basis of race and gender, age at diagnosis, years of education, marital status, and years worked, and significant differences between the interview data and death certificate entries were determined in each category. The authors conclude that death certificate data is of limited use in determining occupational risk factors for cancer.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Occupational-health; Epidemiology; Carcinogenesis; Mortality-surveys; Disease-incidence; Mortality-rates; Cancer-rates
Epdiemiology Michigan Cancer Foundation 110 East Warren Avenue Detroit, Mich 48201
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Michigan Cancer Foundation, Detroit, Michigan
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division