Estimated Risk of Death Among Employees in Agriculture and Agriculture-Related Industries in Georgia, 1985-1994

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Journal of Agromedicine




Farming has an enormous impact on the economy of Georgia, with as many as one in six Georgians working in agriculture. The purpose of this study was to compare the risk of death of white and black farmers to non-farmers in Georgia. Mortality data stratified by age and aggregated by race were retrieved from the Georgia Office of Vital Statistics for the years 1985-1994. The classification system used to code occupation on the death certificate was W473-489, which includes farmers and most all other agricultural occupations. For each cause of death, the Breslow-Day Test was used to determine homogeneity of risk across all age strata (a = 0.05). A common odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for all homogenous causes of death using the Mantel-Haenzel procedure. Among white farmers, the risk of death was significantly high for tuberculosis [OR = 1.64 (1.01, 2.65)], fires [OR = 1.60 (1.15, 2.22)], and accidental drowning [OR = 1.52 (1.01, 2.28)]. The leading causes of death among black farmers were accidental drowning [OR = 1.53 (1.03, 2.26)], cerebrovascular disease [OR = 1.27 (1.18, 1.38)], and ischemic heart disease [OR = 1.21 (1.14, 1.29)]. Causes of death reported to be significantly low were also investigated. The findings of this study are varied, but trends related to risk of death appear to be similar to observed national trends.