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Br J Ind Med. 1976 November; 33(4): 230–235.
PMCID: PMC1008144

Occupational and regional associations of death, disablement, and sickness absence among Post Office staff 1972-75.


Rates of death in service and rates of premature retirement due to disability in an employed population of more than 400 000 people under the age of 60 years have been compared with duration rates of certified sickness absence for three years from April 1972. Standardized for age, rates of sickness absence and of death, combined with retirement (medical wastage) for men and women differed between 11 occupational groups by a factor of three. Significant rank correlations were observed between these two measures of ill health, rs = 0-827 for men, rs = 0-857 for women. Similar comparisons for 1974/75 of rates for staff employed in 10 geographical regions of the United Kingdom standardized for age and occupation, revealed twofold differences of rate, and rank correlation coefficients of + 0-794 for men and + 0-649 for women. These observations show that the duration of certified sickness absence is higher in groups of people showing other objective evidence of ill health and who are most in need of preventive health care. The need is discussed for a balanced view of the complex aetiology of sickness absence.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Coe J. The physician's role in sickness absence certification: a reconsideration. J Occup Med. 1975 Nov;17(11):722–724. [PubMed]
  • Fox AJ, Collier PF. Low mortality rates in industrial cohort studies due to selection for work and survival in the industry. Br J Prev Soc Med. 1976 Dec;30(4):225–230. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • HINKLE LE, Jr, WOLFF HG. The nature of man's adaptation to his total environment and the relation of this to illness. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957 Mar;99(3):442–460. [PubMed]
  • Holland WW. Taking stock. Lancet. 1974 Dec 21;2(7895):1494–1497. [PubMed]
  • Taylor PJ. Personal factors associated with sickness absence. A study 194 men with contrasting sickness absence experience in a refinery population. Br J Ind Med. 1968 Apr;25(2):106–118. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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