Asthma Mortality Among Persons Aged 15-64 Years, by Industry and Occupation

United States, 1999–2016
In 2015, an estimated 18.4 million U.S. adults had current asthma, and 3,396 adult asthma deaths were reported (1). An estimated 11%–21% of asthma deaths might be attributable to occupational exposures (2). To describe asthma mortality among persons aged 15–64 years,* CDC analyzed multiple cause-of-death data† for 1999–2016 and industry and occupation information collected from 26 states§ for the years 1999, 2003, 2004, and 2007–2012. Proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs)¶ for asthma among persons aged 15–64 years were calculated. During 1999–2016, a total of 14,296 (42.9%) asthma deaths occurred among males and 19,011 (57.1%) occurred among females. Based on an estimate that 11%–21% of asthma deaths might be related to occupational exposures, during this 18-year period, 1,573–3,002 asthma deaths in males and 2,091–3,992 deaths in females might have resulted from occupational exposures. Some of these deaths might have been averted by instituting measures to prevent potential workplace exposures. The annual age-adjusted asthma death rate** per 1 million persons aged 15–64 years declined from 13.59 in 1999 to 9.34 in 2016 (p<0.001) among females, and from 9.14 (1999) to 7.78 (2016) (p<0.05) among males. The highest significantly elevated asthma PMRs for males were for those in the food, beverage, and tobacco products manufacturing industry (1.82) and for females were for those in the social assistance industry (1.35) and those in community and social services occupations (1.46). Elevated asthma mortality among workers in certain industries and occupations underscores the importance of optimal asthma management and identification and prevention of potential workplace exposures.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6702a2.htm?s_cid=mm6702a2_x

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