Mortality by occupation in Sweden 2008-2012

Johan Tollebrant, Statistics Sweden
Örjan Hemström, Statistics Sweden

This study analyses the differences in mortality by occupation. Occupation data come from the 2007 Swedish Occupational Register. Standardised mortality ratios (SMR) in the age span 35 to 64 years was calculated for the period 2008–2012, by occupational categories from the most general major groups (10 groups) to the most detailed level, unit occupational groups (355 groups). Findings revealed significant differences in mortality between major occupational groups. Armed forces, management work, professionals, technicians and associate professionals had a lower mortality than the average employed person. Examples of occupations with relatively low mortality are teachers, computing professionals, doctors and specialist managers. Groups in jobs that normally require secondary education skills and elementary occupations had a higher mortality rate than the average employed person. Such occupations with elevated mortality include nursing assistants, home-based personal care workers and related trades, different groups of machine operators, assemblers, newspaper deliverers and doorkeepers. A comparison of all the 27 sub-major occupational groups showed that the group with the highest mortality among men, sales and services elementary occupations, had a mortality rate about 2.8 times higher than men in the group life science and health professionals. Among women, the mortality rate was approximately 2.4 times higher in work in metal, machinery and related trades compared with the group that had jobs as managers of small enterprises. There was no major occupational group where those with a post-secondary education had elevated mortality. This suggests that a higher education is linked to a lower risk of death regardless of occupation. The mortality rate was slightly lower in occupations with an even distribution of the sexes than where the sex distribution is very skewed. This is mainly due to the fact that balanced occupations tend to be professional work and skewed occupations are largely occupations with low skill requirements.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session 1