Observational Surveillance Approach to Detect Novel Work-Related Diseases and Hazards: An Application to a Belgian Occupational Health and Safety Database

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Rapid changes in working conditions give rise to new occupational health risks. We applied the Spectrosome approach, a network-based analysis, to investigate associations between disease and multiple occupational exposures.


We investigated work and health's associations in a specific sector: the agricultural sector and for a specific and frequent health complaint: sore throat; using PRECUBE dataset of the Belgian Occupational Health and Safety, containing 381.615 occupational health observations. We compared the results of the spectrosome with classic frequency analyses.


Spectrosome approach reports more significant signals of multiple associations of agents compare to the frequency analysis.


This difference justifies the usefulness of taking into account the multiplicity of causes leading to a health event, which is a clear asset of the Spectrosome method.

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