OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present work was to establish whether or not prescribed medication is a usable risk indicator for work-related ischaemic heart disease (IHD), in Denmark.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Weighted Spearman rank correlation coefficients (rho) were used to evaluate the agreement between Standardised Hazard Ratios (SHR) for hospital treatment or death due to IHD and SHR for purchase of prescriptions for medicine that may prevent IHD from (re)occurring, among socio-occupational and economic activities groups in Denmark. The SHR were based on a 10-year prospective follow-up of 2 million people in Danish national registers 1996-2005.
RESULTS: We found approximately 7 times more cases of medicine usage (N = 411 651) than we did for hospital treatment or death (N = 55 684). The correlations between the 2 types of SHR were strong (rho = 0.94 for the socio-occupational groups; rho = 0.74 for the economic activities groups). We observed, however, one markedly contradictive result; the industrial group entitled 'general practitioner, dentists etc.' was associated both with significantly high rates of medicine usage (SHR = 1.15, 95% CI: 1.12-1.19) and significantly low rates of hospital treatment or death due to IHD (SHR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.71-0.91).
CONCLUSION: Apart from a few caveats, the strong correlations obtained in the present study signify that purchase of a prescription for IHD-related medication is a usable risk indicator for IHD in the working population of Denmark. The usage of medicine data in addition to or instead of the use of death or hospital data in epidemiological studies on work-related IHD risk will bring about a tremendous increase in statistical power.
|Tidsskrift||International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health|
|Status||Udgivet - aug. 2014|