Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2022;48(8):611-620    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.4048 | Published online: 30 Jun 2022, Issue date: 01 Nov 2022

Longitudinal changes in proportionate mortality due to COVID-19 by occupation in England and Wales

by Cherrie M, Rhodes S, Wilkinson J, Mueller W, Nafilyan V, Van Tongeren M, Pearce N

Objective This study aimed to understand whether the proportionate mortality of COVID-19 for various occupational groups has varied over the pandemic.

Methods We used the Office for National Statistics (ONS) mortality data for England and Wales. The deaths (20–64 years) were classified as either COVID-19-related using ICD-10 codes (U07.1, U07.2), or from other causes. Occupational data recorded at the time of death was coded using the SOC10 coding system into 13 groups. Three time periods (TP) were used: (i) January 2020 to September 2020; (ii) October 2020–May 2021; and (iii) June 2021–October 2021. We analyzed the data with logistic regression and compared odds of death by COVID-19 to other causes, adjusting for age, sex, deprivation, region, urban/rural and population density.

Results Healthcare professionals and associates had a higher proportionate odds of COVID-19 death in TP1 compared to non-essential workers but were not observed to have increased odds thereafter. Medical support staff had increased odds of death from COVID-19 during both TP1 and TP2, but this had reduced by TP3. This latter pattern was also seen for social care, food retail and distribution, and bus and coach drivers. Taxi and cab drivers were the only group that had higher odds of death from COVID-19 compared to other causes throughout the whole period under study [TP1: odds ratio (OR) 2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.99–2.93; TP2: OR 3.15, 95% CI 2.63–3.78; TP3: OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.26–2.29].

Conclusion Differences in the odds of death from COVID-19 between occupational groups has declined over the course of the pandemic, although some occupations have remained relatively high throughout.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2022;48(1):52-60  2022;48(1):61-70
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