Objectives The mortality rates of workers can be influenced by socioeconomic factors as well as occupational ones. This study was performed to observe the mortality rates in various occupations of Korean workers.
Methods We constructed a cohort with workers who have entered the Employment Insurance during 1995–2000. The information of death for the cohort was obtained by matching with database of the National Statistics Office. Nine subcohorts were constructed according to the Korean Standard Occupational Classification. Age-standardised mortality rates (ASR) were calculated.
Results The total cohort included 11,342,816 workers and 141,442,957 person-years. There were 292,763 deaths during 1995–2000. The ASR for death by all causes was 342.6 per 100,000 in male and 141.6 per 100,000 in female. The highest ASR showed in Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Workers (M: 563.0, F: 206.0) and followed by Elementary Occupations (M: 499.0, F: 163.4) and Plant, Machine Operators and Assemblers (M: 380.3, F: 157.8). Professionals and related workers showed the lowest ASR (M: 209.1, F: 93.3)Elementary Occupations (M: 146.4, F: 163.4) showed the highest ASR from neoplasm (C00-D48). Professionals and related workers (M: 93.2, F: 46.9) and Managers (M: 92.1, F: 41.0) showed the lowest ASR. Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Workers showed the highest ASR from external causes of death (V01-Y89) (M: 235.1, F: 74.7) and Professionals and related workers showed the lowest ASR (M: 36.2, F: 15.1).
Conclusion We found a profound difference of mortality rate by occupations. Occupations related to low socioeconomic position like Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Workers and Elementary Occupations showed higher mortality rates and those related to high socioeconomic position such as Managers or Professionals showed lower mortality rates. Further study on mortality rates of workers related to socioeconomic factors as well as work-related ones is needed.
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