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Original research
Risk of major chronic diseases in transport, rescue and security industries: a longitudinal register-based study


Objective To investigate the risk of hospitalisation for major chronic diseases across representative transport, rescue and security industries.

Methods We performed a register-based study of 624 571 workers from six industries in Denmark between 2000 and 2005, followed up hospitalisation for chronic diseases up to 17 years, and compared with a 20% random sample of the economically active population.

Results HR from the Cox regression models showed that seafarers had higher risk of lung cancer (men: 1.54, 95% CI 1.31 to 1.81; women: 1.63, 95% CI 1.13 to 2.36), and male seafarers had higher risk of diabetes (1.32, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.43) and oral cancer (1.51, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.88). Men and women in land transport had increased risk of diabetes (men: 1.68, 95% CI 1.63 to 1.73; women 1.55, 95% CI 1.40 to 1.71) and chronic respiratory disease (men: 1.21, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.25; women 1.42, 95% CI 1.32 to 1.53). Among women, a higher risk of gastrointestinal cancer was observed in aviation (1.53, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.89) and police force (1.29, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.65), oral cancer in defence forces (1.83, 95% CI 1.20 to 2.79), and chronic respiratory disease in rescue service (1.47, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.77), while men in defence forces, police force and rescue service had mainly lower risk of these chronic diseases.

Conclusions We observed considerable health disparities from chronic diseases across transport, rescue and security industries, with workers in seafaring and land transport generally bearing the greatest relative burden.

  • occupational health
  • longitudinal studies
  • epidemiology

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. The data used for this study were obtained from Statistics Denmark.

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