Show Summary Details
Page of

Occupational health 

Occupational health
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 March 2021

Occupational diseases are those for which work or, specifically, exposures in the workplace are necessary causes. The most prevalent occupational diseases in developed countries today are musculoskeletal and psychological disorders (usually stress-related conditions), but generally occupationally related malignancies (e.g. mesothelioma related to asbestos exposure) have the most serious outcomes. The proportion of all cancers attributable to occupational exposures is about 4%, with occupationally related cancers almost exclusively concentrated in manual workers aged 20 or over in sectors such as mining, agriculture, and industry. When presented with a patient whose illness might possibly have been caused or aggravated by work or by other environmental factors, the physician can usefully adopt an approach similar to that used for determining causation in epidemiological studies; the key issues being the temporality, reversibility, exposure-response, strength of association, and specificity of the illness with exposure to the factor in question.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.