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Occupational Differences in Depression and Global Health: Results from a National Sample of US Workers

Grosch, James W. PhD; Murphy, Lawrence R. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 1998 - Volume 40 - Issue 2 - p 153-164
Original Articles

Occupational differences in depression and global health were examined in a sample of 8,486 employed persons who completed the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES). Scores on the depression and global health measures in the NMES were adjusted for age, race, sex, tenure, and hours worked per week, and then grouped according to occupations in the 1980 US Census code. In all, 239 different occupations, distributed across 11 occupational categories, were studied. Results indicated that professional and managerial occupations tended to have healthier scores on both depression and global health. Occupations involving the operation of machines or transportation equipment tended to have poorer scores. These findings are discussed in terms of factors that contribute to occupational differences in well-being, and the need for additional research in which more detailed information concerning working conditions is collected.

From the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Address correspondence to: James W. Grosch, PhD, NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Pky, MS-C24, Cincinnati, OH 45226.

© Williams & Wilkins 1998. All Rights Reserved.