The estimation of attributable risk (ARs) enables the information about the proportion of the total burden of a disease that is related to a given risk factor. At the same time ARs define possibilities for prevention since they enumerate the fraction of a disease that would not have occurred in case this risk had not been present. ARs are a combination of two components, i) the prevalence of the risk factor in the population, and ii) the strengths of the causal relation between a risk factor and the disease. Thus a risk factor with low risk estimates for the association with the disease and a high prevalence may be more important and meaningful than a risk factor with a strong association to the disease, but with low prevalence in the population. Many data documenting the association between several work-related risk factors and cardiovascular disease have been published. However, the quality of the studies is not consistent and needs to be evaluated. In Germany ARs for work-related factors associated to cardiovascular disease have not yet been estimated. In order to exemplify the estimation of ARs for cardiovascular diseases due to work related factors, shift-work as well as psychosocial risks will be considered. Survey data describing the prevalence of these risk factors as well as analytical studies on the association of these risk factors with cardiovascular disease will be evaluated.
Unit 3.1 "Prevention of Work-related Diseases"