Author(s): Baker RS, Wilson MR, Flowers CW Jr, Lee DA, Wheeler NC
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Abstract PURPOSE: To obtain population-based estimates of the incidence of severe work-related ocular trauma and to identify demographic factors related to increased risk of this type of injury. METHODS: A statewide population-based survey of severe work-related ocular injury was performed using hospital discharge data. These data were derived from all inpatient admissions to nonfederal, acute-care hospital facilities in the state of California during 1988. Worker's compensation was used as the principal payor code to establish the work-relatedness of a given ocular injury. Census data for the state of California were used to obtain population denominators. RESULTS: Two hundred sixty-nine (approximately 14.3\%) of all admissions for which ocular trauma was the principal diagnosis (1,876) were work related. Annual incidence for severe work-related ocular injury was 1.76 per 100,000 employed persons when ocular trauma was the principal diagnosis and 2.98 per 100,000 employed persons when ocular trauma was a principal or secondary diagnosis. Projected to the working-age United States population (128 million) these annual rates correspond to an estimated 2,165 acute hospitalizations for work-related ocular trauma as the principal diagnosis, and an estimated 3,745 acute hospitalizations for work-related ocular trauma as a principal or secondary diagnosis. Incidence of severe work-related ocular injury was highest among men, Hispanics, and individuals 20 to 24 years of age (5.02, 3.72, and 4.64 per 100,000 employed per year, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The workplace accounts for a substantial proportion of severe ocular injury. Demographic groups at highest risk for this type of injury are men, Hispanics, and young adults.
This article was published in Am J Ophthalmol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology