Health disparities among occupations in Taiwan: a population study.
J Occup Health 2012 Feb; 54(2):147-153
OBJECTIVES: The first large-scale population survey was conducted in Taiwan to examine if and to what extent health disparities of four major chronic physical conditions exist among occupations. METHODS: Face-to-face interviews about two risk behaviors (i.e., cigarette and alcohol use) and four major chronic physical conditions (i.e., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease and asthma) were conducted with 13,741 workers from nine major categories of occupations. RESULTS: Health disparities among occupations were found based on a series of hierarchical logistic regression analyses after controlling for age, sex and two risk behaviors. In general, prevalence rates of cardiovascular disease among elementary occupations and skilled agricultural and fishery workers were approximately two to four times higher than those among other occupations. The above two occupations and plant and machine operators also had higher prevalence rates in diabetes and liver disease. CONCLUSIONS: The results concerning health disparities among occupations provide policymakers and researchers with invaluable benchmarks of chronic physical conditions among occupations. The findings also suggest the importance of investigating causal relationship between these diseases and exposures at work, identifying and reducing unique risk factors and hazard exposures experienced by workers and conducting targeted surveillance and health promotion programs for at-risk occupations.
Epidemiology; Health-care; Medical-care; Medical-services; Worker-health; Health-surveys; Occupations; Cigarette-smoking; Smoking; Alcoholic-beverages; Risk-factors; Behavior; Cardiovascular-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Bronchial-asthma; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disorders; Blood-sugar-disorders; Liver-disorders; Liver-function; Statistical-analysis; Demographic-characteristics; Agricultural-workers; Fishing-industry; Machine-operators; Physical-capacity;
Author Keywords: Health disparity; Occupation; Taiwan
P. Y. Chen, International Graduate School of Business, City West Campus, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
Journal of Occupational Health
University of Colorado, Denver