Background: A standardized process using data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is applied to estimate the association between long-term aggregated occupational exposure and the risk of contracting chronic diseases later in life. We demonstrate this process by analyzing relationships between O*NET physical work demand ratings and arthritis onset over a 32-year period.
Methods: The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth provided job histories and chronic disease data. Five O*NET job descriptors were used as surrogate measures of physical work demands. Logistic regression measured the association between those demands and arthritis occurrence.
Results: The risk of arthritis was significantly associated with handling and moving objects, kneeling, crouching, and crawling, bending and twisting, working in a cramped or awkward posture, and performing general physical activities.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the utility of using O*NET job descriptors to estimate the aggregated long-term risks for osteoarthritis and other chronic diseases when no actual exposure data is available.
Keywords: NLSY; O*NET; arthritis; chronic disease; musculoskeletal; occupational exposure; osteoarthritis.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.