The Estimated Number of Occupational Diseases and Work-Related Diseases in Turkey
Objective: The number of occupational diseases are lower than expected in Turkey. We aimed to estimate the number of occupational diseases, work-related diseases, and deaths due to occupational exposures by using international estimations of attribution of workplace in this descriptive study.
Methods: The attributable fraction values to occupation for selected diseases and deaths were compiled from the literature. Information on these diseases and deaths in Turkey was obtained from national burden of disease studies and statistics of Turkish Statistical Institute. The estimated number of occupational diseases, work-related diseases and deaths due to occupational exposures were calculated by using the number of diseases and deaths in Turkey and by the fraction of occupational exposures by using literature.
Results: Based on the data of national burden of disease studies in Turkey; 321,868 musculoskeletal disorders, 79,232 to 95,845 circulatory system diseases, 38,994 to 56,992 chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, 14,563 to 19,858 asthma cases, 29,550 hearing losses, and 4,902 to 16,341 cancer cases are estimated to be work-related. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute data, the number of deaths due to occupational causes was estimated to be 8,143 in circulatory system diseases; 1,913 in malignant tumors; and 2,130 in respiratory system diseases. However, the lowest and the highest number of occupational diseases announced by the Social Security Institution between 2007 and 2016 is 371 and 1,208, respectively.
Conclusion: There are deficiencies in the diagnosis and reporting of occupational diseases. In order to plan and implement preventive actions, data should be reported in a large scale and reliable manner.
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