Occupational risk of COVID-19 related hospital admission in Denmark 2020-2021: a follow-up study

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  • Bonde, Jens Peter
  • Lea Sell
  • Esben Meulengracht Flachs
  • David Coggon
  • Maria Albin
  • Karen Marieke Oude Hengel
  • Henrik Kolstad
  • Ingrid Sivesind Mehlum
  • Vivi Schlunssen
  • Svetlana Solovieva
  • Kjell Toren
  • Kristina Jakobsson
  • Christel Nielsen
  • Kerstin Nilsson
  • Lars Rylander
  • Kajsa Ugelvig Petersen
  • Tøttenborg, Sandra Søgaard

Objective Mounting evidence indicates increased risk of COVID-19 among healthcare personnel, but the evidence on risks in other occupations is limited. In this study, we quantify the occupational risk of COVID19-related hospital admission in Denmark during 2020-2021.Methods The source population included 2.4 million employees age 20-69 years. All information was retrieved from public registers. The risk of COVID-19 related hospital admission was examined in 155 occupations with at least 2000 employees (at-risk, N=1 620 231) referenced to a group of mainly office workers defined by a COVID-19 job exposure matrix (N=369 341). Incidence rate ratios (IRR) were computed by Poisson regression.Results During 186 million person-weeks of follow-up, we observed 2944 COVID-19 related hospital admissions in at-risk occupations and 559 in referents. Adjusted risk of such admission was elevated in several occupations within healthcare (including health care assistants, nurses, medical practitioners and laboratory technicians but not physiotherapists or midwives), social care (daycare assistants for children aged 4-7, and nursing aides in institutions and private homes, but not family daycare workers) and transportation (bus drivers, but not lorry drivers). Most IRR in these at-risk occupations were in the range of 1.5-3. Employees in education, retail sales and various service occupations seemed not to be at risk.Conclusion Employees in several occupations within and outside healthcare are at substantially increased risk of COVID-19. There is a need to revisit safety measures and precautions to mitigate viral transmission in the workplace during the current and forthcoming pandemics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian journal of work, environment & health
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • cohort study, epidemiology, healthcare, industry, ISCO-08, job, NACE, pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, HEALTH-CARE, SARS-COV-2

ID: 332993676