Researchers at CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently listed occupations and industries with higher incidence of deaths from respiratory tuberculosis. K.M. Bang, D.N. Weissman, and J.M. Wood studied National Center for Health Statistics multiple-cause-of-death data from 1990-1999, restricted to states for which industry and occupational information was available, and restricted to US residents age 15 or older.
Their findings, presented at the 36th Annual Society of Epidemiological Research Meeting in Atlanta in June, revealed significantly elevated tuberculosis mortality, in descending order of proportionate mortality ratios, adjusted for age, sex and race, associated with: (1) offices and clinics of health practitioners; (2) nonmetallic mining and quarrying, except fuel; (3) agricultural production, crops; (4) coal mining; (5) hospitals; and (6) construction.
Occupations associated with significantly elevated TB mortality were: (1) crushing and grinding machine operators; (2) farm workers; (3) mining machine operators; (4) construction laborers.
The researchers reported that "industries and occupations involving mining and construction with significantly elevated tuberculosis mortality were also associated with high silicosis mortality." They believe their "findings may be useful in guiding occupationally targeted tuberculosis prevention programs."