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Free Content Tuberculosis mortality by industry in the United States, 1990–1999

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OBJECTIVE: To identify occupations and industries with elevated respiratory tuberculosis (TB) mortality in the United States for the period 1990–1999, we used National Center for Health Statistics multiple-cause-of-death data, restricted to certain states for which information on decedents' usual industry and occupational information was available and limited to US residents aged ≥15 years.

DESIGN: A total of 7686 deaths between 1990 and 1999 were attributed to respiratory TB. Proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs), adjusted for age, sex, and race, were calculated from US census occupation and industry classifications.

RESULTS: Industries and occupations involving potential contact with infected cases (e.g., health care workers), those with silica exposure and silicosis (e.g., mining and construction), and those associated with low socio-economic status had significantly elevated TB mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the pattern of findings echoes that described in various prior reports, which indicates that the potential for exposure and disease development still persists among certain worker groups. The findings should be useful in guiding occupationally targeted TB prevention programs.
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Keywords: industry; occupation; proportionate mortality ratio; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2005

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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