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PLoS One. 2019 Sep 12;14(9):e0222603. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222603. eCollection 2019.

Clinical correlates of workplace injury occurrence and recurrence in adults.

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Department of Epidemiology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America.
Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America.
Department of Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States of America.
School of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China.



To examine the morbidities associated with workplace injury and to explore how clinical variables modify the risk of injury recurrence.


A case-control study was designed using Florida's statewide inpatient, outpatient, and emergency visits data obtained from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. We included adults who were admitted for a workplace injury (WPI) or injury at other places (IOP), and a matched population of random controls without WPI/IOP. The associations between WPI and clinical morbidities were assessed by univariate and multivariable regression, ranking predictors by information gain, area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC), and odds ratios. We analyzed WPI recurrence using survival methods (Kaplan-Meier, Cox regression, survival decision trees) and developed prediction models via regularized logistic regression, random forest, and AdTree. Performance was assessed by 10-fold cross-validation comparing AUROC, sensitivity, specificity, and Harrell's c-index.


A total of 80,712 WPI, 161,424 IOP, and 161,424 control patients were included; 485 distinct clinical diagnostic and 160 procedure codes were analyzed after filtering. Acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis, sprains and strains of shoulder and upper arm, ankle and foot, or other and unspecified parts of back, accidents caused by cutting and piercing instruments or objects, and overexertion and strenuous movements were identified as important consequences of WPI. The prediction models of injury recurrence identified several key factors, such as insurance type and prior injury events, although none of the models exhibited high predictive performance (best AUROC = 0.60, best c-index = 0.62).


WPI is associated to diverse serious physical comorbidity burden. There are demographic, social and clinical comorbidity components associated to the risk of WPI recurrence, although their predictive value is moderate, which warrants future investigation in other information source domains, e.g. deepening into the environmental and societal sphere.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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