To describe the incidence of avoidable mortality for causes amenable to medical care among occupation groups in Canada.
A cohort study over an 11-year period among a representative 15% sample of the non-institutionalized population of Canada aged 30-69 at cohort inception. Age-standardized mortality rates for causes amenable to medical care and all other causes of death were calculated for occupationally-active men and women in five categories of skill level and 80 specific occupational groups as well as for persons not occupationally active.
Age-standardized mortality rates per 100,000 person-years at risk for causes amenable to medical care and for all other causes were 132.3 and 218.6, respectively, for occupationally-active women, and 216.6 and 449.3 for occupationally-active men. For causes amenable to medical care and for all other causes, for both sexes, there was a gradient in mortality relative to the five-level ranking by occupational skill level, but the gradient was less strong for women than for men. Across the 80 occupation minor groups, for both men and women, there was a linear relationship between the rates for causes amenable to medical care and the rates for all other causes.
For occupationally-active adults, this study found similar gradients in mortality for causes amenable to medical care and for all other causes of mortality over the period 1991-2001. Avoidable mortality is a valuable indicator of population health, providing information on outcomes pertinent to the organization and delivery of health care services.