Mortality of male members of the Danish Semi-skilled Unskilled Workers' Union in 1973

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The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to evaluate contemporary age and cause specific mortalities of a large group of employed men. The population is the 228,612 male members, aged 20-64, of Denmark's largest trade union, the Semi-skilled and Unskilled Workers' Union (SID). A Standard Mortality Ratio (SMR) of 93.9 compared to all men in Denmark is found. However, the distribution of mortality by age does not resemble that found in many other studies, and is usually said to result from the 'healthy worker effect'. Excess mortality is found in the younger age groups, while the opposite is the case in the older groups, mainly because of a deficit of deaths from chronic illness. Notably higher age and cause specific SMRs are found for violent and unnatural deaths, and higher SMRs for cancer of the lungs and of lymphatic and haemopoietic tissues. Regional variations are found, but no correlation found between mortality and size of union 'local'. However, cancer mortality is higher among members of specialized locals, which are situated in larger urban area. The excess mortality of members of the largest locals in the Copenhagen area is due to deaths by cancer and by violent and unnatural causes. Findings and problems will be examined further in an ongoing cohort study and in other specialized studies under preparation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1977


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Denmark
  • Humans
  • Labor Unions
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality


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