Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
GARCIA GARCIA, Ana M.; GADEA MERINO, Rafael and LOPEZ MARTINEZ, Vicente. Estimate of the Mortality Rate Attributable to Occupational Diseases in Spain, 2004. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.81, n.3, pp. 261-270. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272007000300003.
Background: Occupational diseases are not registered in Spain to a sufficient degree so as to be able to evaluate the impact thereof in our country. In this study, the occupational disease-related mortality and the costs thereof are estimated based on attributable risks calculated in international literature. Methods: Attributable risk estimates are applied for the occupationally-caused deaths rate calculated by Nurminen and Karjalainen (Finland, 2001) are applied to the total number of deaths by the relevant diseases and age groups in Spain and in Autonomous Communities in 2004. The potential years of life and working life lost are calculated. Based upon the years of working life lost, the updated costs of the loss of productive life due to deaths caused by occupational diseases in Spain are estimated. Results: According to our estimates, nearly 16,000 deaths would have occurred in Spain due to occupational exposure-related diseases, the majority in males (87%). These deaths could have caused nearly 152,000 potential years of life lost and somewhat over 47,000 potential years of working life lost, which would entail an updated cost in productivity losses of 580 million - 1 billion euros. Conclusions: In 2004, the occupational disease register in Spain included solely two deaths due to this cause. The results of this study however reveal the importance of working conditions as determining factors in preventable deaths among the population and the imminent need for adequate surveillance and prevention systems for dealing with this public health problem in its full magnitude.
Keywords : Occupational health; Occupational diseases; Attributable fraction; Life expectancy; Costs.