TitleHealth-Related Exposures and Conditions among US Fishermen
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsDoza, S, Bovbjerg, VE, Vaughan, A, Nahorniak, JS, Case, S, Kincl, L
JournalJournal of Agromedicine
Pagination1 - 8
Date Published07/2021

Commercial fishing is a high-risk occupation, yet there is a lack of surveillance documenting health conditions, health behaviors, and health care coverage among US fishermen. We used publicly available data sources to identify exposures and health outcomes common among fishermen. We utilized the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health–Worker Health Charts to estimate the prevalence of general exposures, psychosocial exposures, health behaviors, and health conditions from the national surveys National Health Interview Survey – Occupational Health Supplement (NHIS-OHS, 2015) and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (2013–2015). We compared fishing workers with both agricultural workers and all-workers. Fishermen commonly reported general exposures, psychosocial exposures, non-standard work arrangements, frequent night shifts, and shift work. The prevalence of musculoskeletal conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome (33%) and severe low-back pain (27%) was also high. Smoking (45%) and second-hand smoke exposure (25%) were widespread, and 21% reported no health care coverage. National household surveys such as NHIS-OHS, and BRFSS can be utilized to describe the health status of fishermen. This workforce would benefit from increased access to health care and health promotion programs. More comprehensive evaluations of existing data can help to identify occupation-specific health challenges.

Short TitleJournal of Agromedicine