Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Ind Med. 1996 Aug;30(2):148-54.

Occupational risk factors for developing tuberculosis.

Author information

Michlgan State University, East Lansing 48824-1316, USA.


We sought to assess whether there is an increased risk of tuberculosis among individuals who work in certain industries or occupations. A case-referent study of 149 male tuberculosis (TB) patients reported to the New Jersey Health Department from 1985 to 1987 and 290 referents was performed. Standardized interviews were conducted via the telephone or in person. Increased risk of TB was highest in heavy drinkers (OR = 3.33, 95% CL 1.99-5.59) and those who had a history of living with someone who had a history of TB (OR = 10.92, 95% CL 4.92-24.22). Occupations and industries associated with elevated risk for TB included: four silica-using industries-quarrying (OR = 3.96, 95% CL 0.36-44.02), pottery and related products (OR = 1.99, 95% CL 0.49-8.06), nonmetallic mineral and stone products (OR = 4.00, 95% CL 0.72-22.10), and ship and boat building and repair (OR = 1.84, 95% CL 0.76-4.43); hospitals (OR = 2.10, 95% CL 1.08-4.10); light truck drivers (OR = 2.49, 95% CL 1.30-4.77); agriculture (OR = 2.31, 95% CL 0.82-6.50); eating and drinking establishments (OR = 2.83, 95% CL 1.11-7.20); and janitors/cleaners (OR = 2.00, 95% CL 0.63-6.31). Except for janitors/cleaners, these elevated odds ratios remained for the above occupations/industries after controlling for alcohol or a history of having lived with someone with tuberculosis. Limitations of the study include a poor response rate (38%) and the exclusion of women from the study.

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center