Demographic considerations in analyzing decedents by usual occupation
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Demographic considerations in analyzing decedents by usual occupation

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Am J Ind Med
    • Description:
      Background: Public health research uses decedents’ usual industry and occupation (I&O) from US death certificates to assess mortality incidence and risk factors. Of necessity, such research may exclude decedents with insufficient I&O information, and assume death certificates reflect current (at time of death) I&O. This study explored the demographic implications of such research conditions by describing usual occupation and current employment status among decedents by demographic characteristics in a large multistate data set. Methods: Death certificate occupations classified by Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) (ie, compensated occupation) and other categories (eg, student) for 36 507 decedents (suicide, homicide, other, undetermined intent) age 22+ years from the 2016 National Violent Death Reporting System’s (NVDRS) 32 US states were analyzed. Decedents not employed at the time of death (eg, laid off) were identified through nondeath certificate NVDRS data sources (eg, law enforcement reports). Results: Female decedents, younger (age < 30 years) male decedents, some non‐White racial group decedents, less educated decedents, and undetermined intent death decedents were statistically less likely to be classified by SOC based on death certificates—primarily due to insufficient information. Decedents classified by SOC from death certificates but whose non‐death certificate data indicated no employment at the time of death were more often 30+ years old, White, less educated, died by suicide, or had nonmanagement occupations. Conclusions: Whether decedents have classifiable occupations from death certificates may vary by demographic characteristics. Research studies that assess decedents by usual I&O can identify and describe how any such demographic trends may affect research results on particular public health topics.
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