The farming population in ireland: mortality trends during the 'celtic tiger' years

Smyth, B.
Evans, D. S.
Kelly, A.
Cullen, L.
O'Donovan, D.
Repository DOI
Publication Date
Smyth, B. Evans, D. S.; Kelly, A.; Cullen, L.; O'Donovan, D. (2012). The farming population in ireland: mortality trends during the 'celtic tiger' years. The European Journal of Public Health 23 (1), 50-55
Background Although the Irish farming population is a significant occupational group, analysis of their mortality patterns is limited. This study compared mortality trends with other occupational groups and assessed the impact of socio-economic factors. Methods Population and mortality data (2000-06) were obtained to calculate standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) by cause of death and matched with socio-economic data. The extent to which variation in mortality was explained by variations in the socio-economic data was determined using multiple regression. Results Farmers and agricultural workers experienced the highest levels of mortality for all causes of death (2000-06). Farmers are 5.14 times more likely and agricultural workers are 7.35 times more likely to die from any cause of death than the lowest risk group. Circulatory disease is a significant cause of mortality among farmers [SMR = 215.91, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 201.83-229.98]. Other significant causes include cancers (SMR = 156.60, CI = 146.73-166.48) and injuries and poisonings (SMR = 149.69, CI = 135.44-163.93). Agricultural workers have similar mortality trends: circulatory disease (SMR = 226.27; CI = 192.45-260.08), cancers (SMR = 221.44; CI = 193.88-249.00), and injuries and poisonings (SMR = 353.90; CI = 302.48-405.32). From 2000 to 2006, SMRs increased incrementally. Multiple regression identified farm size and income poverty risk as predictors of mortality. Conclusion Irish farmers and agricultural workers have experienced a reversal of mortality trends compared to the 1980s and 1990s. Policies should target them as a high-risk group.
Oxford University Press (OUP)
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland