Using O*NET to estimate the association between work exposures and chronic diseases

Source: Allard E. Dembe, Xiaoxi Yao, Thomas M. Wickizer, Abigail B. Shoben and Xiuwen (Sue) Dong, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Volume 57 Issue 9, September 2014
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From the abstract:
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. …

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.