Work and "lifestyle" in occupational mortality in Denmark

Scand J Soc Med. 1990 Sep;18(3):179-83. doi: 10.1177/140349489001800305.


Using social class standardization Fox and Adelstein found that 18% of all mortality was attributed to work, while 82% was attributable to lifestyle. Fox and Adelstein had access to 25 occupational orders. We have made similar calculations on Danish mortality statistics including 146 occupational groups. Our results are very different: more than 50% of all mortality among Danish men seems to be related to work. Of 51,317 work-related deaths in 10 years, one third were due to cancer, and half due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The marked differences in results have lead to considerations on the applicability of the model and the underlying assumptions. One conclusion is that social differences and differences in mortality between social groups are so small in Denmark that a few subgroups with "deviant" mortality and/or lifestyle will be determinants of the results. Inclusion of more occupational groups increases the percentage of deaths associated with work.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark
  • Humans
  • Life Style* / ethnology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Social Class
  • Work*