A recently developed source of occupational mortality data from 28 states for the years 1979 through 1990 can be used to meet goals for the surveillance of women's work-related diseases. A proportionate cancer mortality ratio analysis is used to illustrate use of the data to address the goals of identifying previously unrecognized work-related disease and targeting consultation or health promotion programs to appropriate occupations. Strengths of the data include broad geographical coverage and coverage of all causes of death and numerous industries and occupations. The data set is current and very large, with annual additions. The data have certain limitations. Death certificate information collected regarding occupation and cause of death may not be accurate; furthermore, death certificates have little information on potential confounding factors, such as smoking.
©1994 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine