Mortality by occupation, industry, and cause of death: 12 reporting states, 1984.
An analysis of associations between occupation and mortality in United States workers was performed. Data on occupation of 269,797 decedents, 140,715 males, reported to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) by Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Wisconsin in 1984 were obtained from death certificates. Causes of death were coded and classified according to the manual of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death. Occupations were classified according to the US Bureau of Census publications. Proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) were computed for occupation and industry specific mortality by standard methods. A PMR of 150 or greater was considered to represent a statistically significant increased risk. The occupational category precision production, craft, and repair occupations represented the largest group of deaths for males, accounting for 20.7% of the total. The homemakers occupational group represented the largest group of deaths for females, accounting for 57.4% of all deaths. Thirty five occupations for males and 29 for females had PMRs of 150 or greater. For males, the highest mortality risk was for death from pneumoconioses and pneumopathy and was associated with the extractive occupations category, PMR = 3,759. For females, the greatest mortality risk was from uterine cancer and was associated with the occupational group machine operators, associated materials, PMR = 242. By industry, manufacturing accounted for the largest number of male deaths, accounting for 22.8% of the total. The category industry not reported was the industrial category wherein most (59.9%) of the female deaths occurred. Most of the decedents in this group were homemakers. For males, there were 32 industries associated with a PMR of more than 150. For females, there were 32 such industries. For males, the greatest mortality risk was from pneumoconioses and pneumopathy and was associated with the mining industry, PMR of 2,857. For females, the greatest mortality risk was from brain and nervous system malignancies and was associated with employment in the transportation industry, PMR of 286. The authors conclude that occupation and industry information on death certificates can be used to identify possible associations between occupation and mortality.