BACKGROUND: Although previous studies have underscored some unique inequalities in occupational mortality in Japan, many of these trends have been dramatically altered during recent decades. We analyzed mortality data by occupation and industry in Japan, to determine whether differences remained by the mid-2010s for men in working-age population. METHODS: We calculated age-standardized all-cause and cause-specific mortality, according to occupation and industry, among men aged 25-64 years in the 2015 fiscal year (1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016). Occupational and industry-specific categories were defined using the Japan Standard Occupational Classification and Japan Standard Industrial Classification, respectively. Age-standardized mortality rates were computed using 5-year age intervals. Mortality rate ratios adjusted for age and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Poisson regression. Cause-specific deaths were classified into four broad groups (cancers [C00-D48], cardiovascular diseases [I00-I99], external causes [V01-Y98], and all other diseases) based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD-10). RESULTS: Clear mortality differences were identified by both occupation and industry among Japanese males. All-cause mortality ranged from 53.7 (clerical workers) to 240.3 (service workers) per 100,000 population for occupation and from 54.3 (workers in education) to 1169.4 (workers in mining) for industry. In relative terms, service workers and agriculture, forestry, and fishing workers had 2.89 and 2.50 times higher all-cause mortality than sales workers. Administrative and managerial workers displayed higher mortality risk (1.86; 95% CI 1.76-1.97) than sales workers. Similar patterns of broad cause-specific mortality inequality were identified in terms of both absolute and relative measures, and all broad cause-specific deaths contributed to the differences in mortality by occupation and industry. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial differences in mortality among Japanese male workers, according to occupation and industry, were still present in 2015.

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Environmental health and preventive medicine
Department of Public Health

Tanaka, H. (Hirokazu), Tanaka, T. (Taketo), & Wada, K. (Koji). (2020). Mortality by occupation and industry among Japanese men in the 2015 fiscal year. Environmental health and preventive medicine, 25(1). doi:10.1186/s12199-020-00876-3