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Mortality patterns among nurses: a 28-state study (1984-1990).

Peipins L; Burnett C; Alterman T; Lalich N
American Public Health Association 123rd Annual Meeting and Exhibition, San Diego, CA, October 29 - November 2, 1995. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 1995 Oct; :47
Nurses face a myriad of biological, chemical, physical and psychosocial hazards which have been linked with cancers, injuries and infectious diseases. This study examined the mortality experience of 50,000 nurses for 1984-1990 using data from the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance system. Proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) adjusted by race and age were calculated for select causes of death among female nurses compared with (1) all workers and with (2) white-collar workers separately. Excess deaths among working-age nurses (<65 years) were seen in both comparison groups for viral hepatitis (29 deaths, PMRs=175 and 171), cancer of the nasal cavities (9 deaths PMRs=212 and 183), accidental falls (49 deaths PMRs=145 and 150), suicide (398 deaths, PMRs=126 and 116) and drug-related deaths (257 deaths, PMRs=171 and 175). Among older nurses deaths due to chronic myeloid leukemia (44 deaths, PMRs+157 and 132), sarcoidosis (15 deaths, PMRs=363 and 236), and lymphosarcoma (68 deaths, PMRs+135 and 119) were in excess. For breast and colon cancers as well as for diabetes and heart disease, PMRs varied with respect to the occupational comparison group. These findings confirm results of previous studies in addition to identifying new associations. Redoubled efforts are called for in identifying and overcoming obstacles to reducing workplace hazards and in targeting preventive services for nurses.
Nurses; Nursing; Health-care-facilities; Health-care-personnel; Cancer; Cancer-rates; Mortality-rates; Mortality-data; Demographic-characteristics; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Infectious-diseases; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disease
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
American Public Health Association 123rd Annual Meeting and Exhibition, San Diego, CA, October 29 - November 2, 1995
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division