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Disability rates for cardiovascular and psychological disorders among autoworkers by job category, facility type, and facility overtime hours.

Landsbergis PA; Janevic T; Rothenberg L; Adamu MT; Johnson S; Mirer FE
Am J Ind Med 2013 Jul; 56(7):755-764
Background: We examined the association between long work hours, assembly line work and stress-related diseases utilizing objective health and employment data from an employer's administrative databases. Methods: A North American automobile manufacturing company provided data for claims for sickness, accident and disability insurance (work absence of at least 4 days) for cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension and psychological disorders, employee demographics, and facility hours worked per year for 1996-2001. Age-adjusted claim rates and age-adjusted rate ratios were calculated using Poisson regression, except for comparisons between production and skilled trades workers owing to lack of age denominator data by job category. Associations between overtime hours and claim rates by facility were examined by Poisson regression and multi-level Poisson regression. Results: Claims for hypertension, coronary heart disease, CVD, and psychological disorders were associated with facility overtime hours. We estimate that a facility with 10 more overtime hours per week than another facility would have 4.36 more claims for psychological disorders, 2.33 more claims for CVD, and 3.29 more claims for hypertension per 1,000 employees per year. Assembly plants had the highest rates of claims for most conditions. Production workers tended to have higher rates of claims than skilled trades workers. Conclusions: Data from an auto manufacturer's administrative databases suggest that autoworkers working long hours, and assembly-line workers relative to skilled trades workers or workers in non-assembly facilities, have a higher risk of hypertension, CVD, and psychological disorders. Occupational disease surveillance and disease prevention programs need to fully utilize such administrative data.
Automotive-industry; Industrial-factory-workers; Workers; Worker-health; Work-environment; Work-intervals; Work-operations; Industrial-environment; Cardiovascular-system-disease; Cardiovascular-system-disorders; Cardiovascular-disease; Psychological-disorders; Psychological-effects; Disabled-workers; Shift-work; Shift-workers; Assembly-line-workers; Motor-vehicles; Job-stress; Stress; Information-systems; Hypertension; Lost-work-days; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Job-analysis; Mathematical-models; Occupational-diseases; Risk-factors; Author Keywords: autoworkers; work hours; overtime; assembly line work; cardiovascular disease
Paul A. Landsbergis, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Box 43, State University of New York-Downstate Mediacal Center, 450 Clarkson Ave., Brooklyn, NY 111203
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-007577; B20130805; M082013
Issue of Publication
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Performing Organization
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division