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Work-Related Injuries Up Suicide and Drug-Related Death

Suicide and drug-related mortality higher in both male and female injured workers

depressed man

TUESDAY, July 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Workplace injuries severe enough to warrant more than a week away from work may increase the risk for death among workers, according to a study published online July 12 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

Katie M. Applebaum, Sc.D., from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues linked New Mexico workers' compensation data for 100,806 workers (1994 through 2000) with Social Security Administration earnings and mortality data through 2013 as well as National Death Index cause of death data. The authors sought to estimate the association between receiving lost-time workers' compensation benefits and mortality.

The researchers observed an almost threefold increase in combined drug-related and suicide mortality hazard among women (hazard ratio, 2.63) and a substantial increase among men (hazard ratio, 1.42). Additionally, mortality risk from circulatory disease was elevated for men (hazard ratio, 1.25).

"Improved workplace conditions, improved pain treatment, better treatment of substance use disorders, and treatment of postinjury depression may substantially reduce mortality consequent to workplace injuries," the authors write.

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