Highest opioid-related mortality seen in construction jobs

(HealthDay)—Proportional mortality ratios (PMRs) for heroin-related overdose deaths and methadone-related overdose deaths from 2007 to 2012 were highest among construction workers, according to research published in the Aug. 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Laurel Harduar Morano, Ph.D., from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, and colleagues used mortality data from the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance system to examine unintentional or undetermined drug overdose mortality within 26 occupation groups. Data from the 21 participating states were included. Drug overdose mortality and total mortality were compared using PMRs indirectly standardized for age, sex, race, year, and state.

The researchers found that construction occupations had the highest PMRs for drug overdose deaths and for both heroin-related overdose deaths (1.46) and prescription opioid-related overdose deaths (1.34). Extraction (e.g., mining, oil and gas extraction), and health care practitioners had the highest PMRs from methadone, natural and semisynthetic opioids, and synthetic opioids other than methadone (1.39 and 1.81, respectively).

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