Different patterns of opioid-related deaths affect different workers, according to a recently promulgated study from the USA. During 2007–2012 proportional mortality ratios (PMR) for heroin-related overdose deaths (1.46) and methadone-related overdose deaths (1.34) were highest for construction workers. PMRs for natural and semisynthetic opioids were highest for the mining industry (1.39) and health care practitioner (1.81) occupation groups.The CDC used mortality data from the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance (NOMS) system to examine unintentional or undetermined drug overdose mortality within 26 occupation groups. The analysis identified 57,810 drug overdose deaths within the study population (1.4% of the 4,024,086 deaths). PMRs from drug overdose were significantly above 1.00 for six occupation groups: construction (1.25); mining (1.16); food preparation and serving (1.11); health care practitioners, technical (1.16); 5) health care support (1.18); and personal care and service Overdoses were also prominent among deaths where the usual occupation was unpaid/unemployed (1.10) or unknown (1.31). Variation was expected because work-related injuries and illnesses vary by occupation and industry.
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