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Am J Epidemiol. 1999 Feb 15;149(4):347-52.

Why do short term workers have high mortality?

Author information

1
Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus C, Denmark.

Abstract

Increased mortality is often reported among workers in short term employment. This may indicate either a health-related selection process or the presence of different lifestyle or social conditions among short term workers. The authors studied these two aspects of short term employment among 16,404 Danish workers in the reinforced plastics industry who were hired between 1978 and 1985 and were followed to the end of 1988. Preemployment hospitalization histories for 1977-1984 were ascertained and were related to length of employment between 1978 and 1988. Workers who had been hospitalized prior to employment showed a 20% higher risk of early termination of employment than those never hospitalized (rate ratio (RR) = 1.20, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-1.29), and the risk increased with number of hospitalizations. For workers with two or more preemployment hospitalizations related to alcohol abuse or violence, the rate ratios for short term employment were 2.30 (95% CI 1.74-3.06) and 1.86 (95% CI 1.35-2.56), respectively. An unhealthy lifestyle may also be a determinant of short term employment. While it is possible in principle to adjust for lifestyle factors if proper data are collected, the health-related selection of workers requires careful consideration when choosing a reference group for comparative studies of cumulative occupational exposure.

PMID:
10025477
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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