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J Formos Med Assoc. 2012 Oct;111(10):567-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2011.06.010. Epub 2012 May 5.

Mortality among dentists in Taiwan, 1985-2009.

Author information

1
Bureau of International Cooperation, Department of Health, Executive Yuan, Taipei City, Taiwan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:

Controversy exists in the literature regarding whether dentists with multiple occupational exposures suffer from premature mortality. A cohort mortality study was conducted to evaluate the survival outcome and determine if potential exposure to harmful agents leads to premature mortality among dentists.

METHODS:

Using the Life Table Analysis System, we calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for a cohort of 11,700 dentists affiliated with the Taiwan Dental Association. These dentists were followed from 1985-2009. Reference rates were derived from cause-, gender-, and age-specific mortality rates of the general population of Taiwan and 18,664 Taiwanese internists, who were considered to be more socioeconomically proximal to dentists. A Cox proportional hazard model was also constructed to determine multiple risk factors associated with mortality.

RESULTS:

Compared with the general population, dentists in Taiwan consistently demonstrated reduced from all-cause mortality. However, compared with internists, significant and excess mortality were observed in dentists for overall mortality (SMR=1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.00-1.26), drowning (SMR=6.62; 95% CI=2.15-15.45), and heart diseases (SMR=1.66; 95% CI=1.22-2.21). After adjusting for other risk factors, the Cox model showed an increased hazard ratio of 1.17 (95% CI=1.01-1.37) for dentists.

CONCLUSION:

Taiwanese dentists demonstrated significant elevated SMRs for overall causes, drowning, and heart diseases. Careful precaution should be taken to reduce these trends. Future studies are also needed for in-depth exploration of the mechanisms regarding how professional stress and exposure contribute to the increased risk of mortality in Taiwanese dentists.

PMID:
23089692
DOI:
10.1016/j.jfma.2011.06.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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