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Rev Saude Publica. 2008 Aug;42(4):630-8.

[Work-related diseases and health-related compensation claims, Northeastern Brazil, 2000].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Auditoria Regional Salvador, Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social, Salvador, BA, Brasil.



To estimate the contribution of work-related diseases to sick leaves due to general and occupational health problems.


Sociodemographic, occupational and health data from 29,658 records of temporary disability benefits, granted on account of health problems by the Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social (National Institute of Social Security) in the state of Bahia (Northeastern Brazil), were analyzed. All constant ICD-10 clinical diagnoses were taken into consideration, except for those referring to external causes and factors that influence contact with health services. The link between diagnosis and occupation was based on the ICD-10 code and whether the type of compensation was due to a "work-related accident/disease" or not.


From all the benefits, 3.1% were granted due to work-related diseases: 70% were musculoskeletal system and connective tissue diseases, while 14.5% were related to the nervous system. In general, benefits granted at more than two times the expected frequency were as follows: tenosynovitis in the manufacturing sector (Proportion Ratio-PR=2.70), carpal tunnel syndrome in the financial intermediation sector (PR=2.43), and lumbar disc degeneration in the transportation, postal service and telecommunications sectors (PR=2.17). However, no causal connection could be established for these diseases, in these activity sectors, in a significant percentage of benefits.


Results suggest the existence of possible occupational risk factors for diseases in these fields of activity, as well as the underreporting of the link between diseases and work, thus disguising the responsibility of companies and the perspective of prevention through work reorganization.

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