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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2005;38(1): 38-44.
Mortality among Medical Doctors Based on the Registered Cause of Death in Korea 1992-2002.
You Cheol Shin, Jae Heon Kang, Cheol Hwan Kim
Department of Family Medicine, Inje University, Seoul Paik Hospital, Korea. fmmother@freechal.com
OBJECTIVE: To compare the mortality rate of Korean medical doctors to that of the general Korean population for the period 1992-2002. METHODS: The membership records of the Korean Medical Association were linked to the 1992-2002 death certificate data of Korea's National Statistical Office using 13-digit unique personal identification numbers. The study population consisted of 61, 164 medical doctors with a follow-up period of 473, 932 person-years. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated to compare cause-specific mortality rates of medical doctors to those of the general population. RESULTS: We confirmed 1, 150 deaths at ages from 30 to 75 years from 1 January 1992 to 31 December 2002. The SMR for all-cause of death was 0.47 (95% CI : 0.44~0.50). The SMRs for smoking-related diseases such as cerebrovascular accidents and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were smaller than the SMR of all-cause of death. However, the SMRs for colorectal and pancreatic cancers were not significantly lower than those of the general population. Transport accidents and suicides accounted for 72% (94 of 131) of external causes of death. The SMR for suicide was 0.51 (95% CI : 0.38~0.68). CONCLUSIONS: The mortality rate of South Korean medical doctors was less than 50% that of the general population of South Korea. Cause-specific analysis showed that mortality rates in leading causes of death were lower among medical doctors although differences in mortality rates between medical doctors and the general population varied with the causes of death. These health benefits found among medical doctors may be attributable to the lower level of health damaging behaviors (e.g., lower smoking rates) and better working conditions.
Key words: Mortality; Cause of death; Health occu-pation; Physicians
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