Research Article

Occupational mortality among women in England and Wales.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 20 July 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:194
  1. E Roman,
  2. V Beral,
  3. H Inskip


    Occupational mortality in women who died in England and Wales from 1970 to 1972 was analysed. Many of the associations found were consistent with those that have been described for men, with high mortality ratios for cirrhosis in barmaids and publicans, for suicide in the medical and allied professions, and for respiratory disease in textile workers. Parity is a determinant of patterns of disease in working women, and the relative excess of cancer of the breast, ovary, and uterine body in professional and clerical workers probably reflected the high proportion of nulliparous women in these groups. Other associations may have reflected true occupational hazards; one observation requiring further attention was the high proportional mortality ratio for anaemia in textile and clothing workers. The description of the occupational mortality among women in England and Wales is hampered by the incomplete recording of information about women's occupations at registration of death. As women now constitute 40% of the workforce, often have their own specific occupations, and possibly also have their own diseases related to specific occupations it is time for the registrar's guidelines on the recording of women's occupation--last reviewed at the beginning of this century--to be revised.