Occupational Risk Factors for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: a Nationwide Study Based on Hospitalizations in Sweden.

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate possible associations between occupation and hospitalization for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in a nationwide study.

METHODS: A nationwide database was constructed in Sweden by linking the Swedish Census to the Hospital Discharge Register to obtain data on all first hospitalizations with a primary or secondary diagnosis of SLE in adults during the study period (1970 to 2008). Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and 95% CI were calculated for different occupations. Two cohorts were defined based on occupational titles recorded in Swedish census data in 1970 and 1980.

RESULTS: A total of 8921 male and 42290 female hospitalizations for SLE were retrieved in individuals aged over 15 years. High education (> 12 yrs) was associated with a lower risk of hospitalization for SLE among both women (SIR = 0.73) and men (SIR = 0.72). Among men with the same occupation in 2 consecutive censuses, increased risks (SIR) > 2.0 were present among artistic workers (2.52); shop managers and assistants (3.63); miners and quarry workers (6.04); shoe and leather workers (6.93); plumbers (2.21); other construction workers (2.08); glass, ceramic and tile workers (4.43); chimney sweeps (4.54); and military personnel (3.01). Among women with the same occupation in 2 consecutive censuses, no occupation was associated with SIR > 2.0.

CONCLUSION: Occupation may carry significantly increased risk of hospital admission for SLE. Especially among men, several occupations were associated with increased risks for SLE.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-751
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch