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Concordance Between Current Job and Usual Job in Occupational and Industry Groupings: Assessment of the 2010 National Health Interview Survey

Luckhaupt, Sara E. MD, MPH; Cohen, Martha A. PhD; Calvert, Geoffrey M. MD, MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: September 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 9 - p 1074–1090
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318297321d
Original Articles

Objective: To determine whether current job is a reasonable surrogate for usual job.

Methods: Data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey were utilized to determine concordance between current and usual jobs for workers employed within the past year. Concordance was quantitated by kappa values for both simple and detailed industry and occupational groups. Good agreement is considered to be present when kappa values exceed 60.

Results: Overall kappa values ± standard errors were 74.5 ± 0.5 for simple industry, 72.4 ± 0.5 for detailed industry, 76.3 ± 0.4 for simple occupation, 73.7 ± 0.5 for detailed occupation, and 80.4 ± 0.6 for very broad occupational class. Sixty-five of 73 detailed industry groups and 78 of 81 detailed occupation groups evaluated had good agreement between current and usual jobs.

Conclusions: Current job can often serve as a reliable surrogate for usual job in epidemiologic studies.

From the Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Address correspondence to: Sara E. Luckhaupt, MD, MPH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-17, Cincinnati, OH 45226 (

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or the National Center for Health Statistics. All authors are federal government employees, and the NHIS and preparation of this manuscript were completely funded by the US government.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine