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J Occup Health year 1999 volume 41 number 4 page 238 - 243
Classification Original
Title Unexpected Natural Death among Korean Workers
Author Jungsun PARK1, Young-Sook CHO1, Kwan-Hyung YI1, Kyung-Yong RHEE1, Yangho KIM2 and Young-Hahn MOON1
Organization 1Industrial Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Industrial Safety Corporation (KISCO)
2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital
Keywords Sudden death, Unexpected natural death, Karoshi, Workers' compensation, Work stress
Abstract Unexpected Natural Death among Korean Workers: Jungsun PARK, et al. Industrial Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Industrial Safety Corporation-Even though workers' deaths can be compensated for in Korea if work stress is substantiated as a cause, neither a definition nor a measure has been officially provided to verify occupational stress or overwork. This study was carried out to identify epidemiological characteristics and components of work stress associated with workers' death. All the records of claims for compensation during 1994-1995 were reviewed to select only the cases of natural death. A descriptive study on the characteristics of workers' natural death and a matched case-control study on stress components were carried out. Cerebrovascular accidents was the commonest cause of death (47.3%) in claims for compensation due to work stress, and coronary artery diseases took second place (29.9%). Sudden death occurring within 24 h after the attack comprised about 1/2 of the total cases. The attack took place most frequently at the workplace and most often during work. When work stress was classified and observed in four categories: sudden physical exertion, sudden psychologic excitement, prolongation of work time, and change in responsibility, only physical exertion within 24 h before the onset of symptoms proved to be significantly associated with workers' unexpected natural death.