Disability in occupations in a national sample

J Paul Leigh, J. F. Fries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives. We sought to develop lists of jobs whose members reported high and low levels of functional disability. Methods. Samples of women (n = 6096) and men (n = 3653) were drawn from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I Epidemiological Follow-up. Disability was measured with a modified Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire. We analyzed women and men separately, and we calculated average disability indices within longest- held occupations while adjusting for age, age-squared, married spouse present, and education. We minimized attrition bias with an econometric technique. Results. From highest to lowest association with disability, the female broad occupations ranking was as follows: farming, no occupation, laborers, service, technicians, operatives, crafts workers, transportation operators, professionals, sales workers, administrative support, and managers. The male broad occupations ranking was as follows: no occupation, farming, operatives, crafts workers, service, technicians, manager, administrative support, sales, and professionals. The highest levels of disability for women and men occurred among nonconstruction laborers, farm workers, twisting machine operators, servants, machinery maintenance workers, mining machine operators, and bus drivers. Conclusions. Our results suggest that, in understanding levels of functional disability, occupational safety and health play a larger role than is generally assumed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1517-1524
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Disability in occupations in a national sample'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this