Abstract

We compare mortality differences for specific and general categories of occupations using a national cohort of approximately 380,000 persons aged 25-64 from the U.S. National Longitudinal Mortality Study. Based on comparisons of relative risk obtained from Cox proportional-hazards model analyses, higher risk is observed in moving across the occupational spectrum from the technical, highly skilled occupations to less-skilled and generally more labor-intensive occupations. Mortality differences obtained for social status groups of specific occupations are almost completely accounted for by adjustments for income and education. Important differences are shown to exist for selected specific occupations beyond those accounted for by social status, income, and education. Highrisk specific occupations include taxi drivers, cooks, longshoremen, and transportation operatives. Low-risk specific occupations include lawyers, natural scientists, teachers, farmers, and a variety of engineers.

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