The associations of hospital morbidity with occupation were studied in Western Australian men of working age in 1981-2. Data on hospital morbidity were derived from a population based system that covered all short stays in hospitals in the state. Occupations were grouped into 12 major categories and conditions were coded using the International Classification of Diseases. Armed services personnel had the highest overall rate of hospital admissions, followed by transport and communications workers and by administrative and managerial workers. Injuries were the most common cause of referral to hospital. Four occupational groups, farmers and allied workers, miners and quarrymen, transport and communications workers, and craftsmen, production workers, and labourers were often associated with injury. Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue were the second most common cause for referral and were increased in transport and communications workers, and in craftsmen, production workers, and labourers. Several other associations between causes of hospital admission and major occupational groups were observed, including associations of circulatory system diseases with professional and technical work and with administrative and managerial work. The excess of hospital admissions due to factors associated with occupation was estimated to be 12,665 admissions a year or 24.9% of the total in working men.
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