Estimated burden of disease attributable to selected occupational exposures in the United Arab Emirates

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BackgroundAs part of an effort to strengthen occupational safety and health programs, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) commissioned a study to estimate the burden of disease attributable to occupational exposure to carcinogens, particulate matter, and noise.MethodsWe developed an innovative simulation model to estimate the occupational disease burden and facilitate future assessments as more field-based quantitative data become available.ResultsWe determined that, in 2008, an estimated 46 deaths (95% CI: 27–71) and 17,000 health-care facility visits (95% CI: 16,000–18,000), along with 4,500 cases of noise-induced hearing loss, were attributable to the occupational risk factors covered in this study. Lung cancer and leukemia were associated with the highest number of deaths (38), whereas asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease contributed most to the health-care facility visits (nearly 16,900). The highest estimated occupational disease burden is in construction.ConclusionThese results will help the UAE to institute new policies for environment, health, and safety management. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:940–952, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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