Long-term health outcomes of work-related injuries among construction workers--findings from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Am J Ind Med. 2015 Mar;58(3):308-18. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22415.


Background: This study examined the relationship between work-related injuries and health outcomes among a cohort of blue-collar construction workers.

Materials and methods: Data were from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 cohort (NLSY79; n = 12,686). A range of health outcomes among blue-collar construction workers (n = 1,435) were measured when they turned age 40 (1998-2006) and stratified by these workers' prior work-related injury status between 1988 and 2000. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to measure differences among subgroups.

Results: About 38% of the construction cohort reported injuries resulting in days away from work (DAFW); another 15% were injured but reported no DAFW (NDAFW). At age 40, an average of 10 years after injury, those with DAFW injury had worse self-reported general health and mental health, and more diagnosed conditions and functional limitations than those without injury. This difference was statistically significant after controlling for major demographics.

Discussion: Adverse health effects from occupational injury among construction workers persist longer than previously documented.

Keywords: chronic condition; days away from work; diagnosed disease; longitudinal study; mental health; occupational injury; self-reported health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Construction Industry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Employment / trends
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Report
  • Social Class
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult