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Poor work ability may predict faster deterioration of health

Date:
February 3, 2011
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Poor work ability in midlife may be associated with an accelerated deterioration of health and functioning in old age, according to a new study.

Poor work ability in midlife may be associated with an accelerated deterioration of health and functioning in old age, states a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

In a 28-year follow-up population-based study, Finnish researchers studied middle-aged white-collar and blue-collar employees to see if a person's work ability in midlife might predict their risk of death or disability.

In 1981, a total of 5971 employees aged 44-58 reported on their perceived work ability as part of a longitudinal study hosted by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. By 2009, altogether 1918 persons had died and the ability to perform daily activities was assessed among 2879 respondents.

"We found that work ability in midlife predicted decline in health and functioning among men and women during the 28-year follow-up even after adjustments for health and lifestyle factors," writes Dr. Mikaela von Bonsdorff, Gerontology Research Centre, University of Jyväskylä, Finland with coauthors. "The risks showed similar gradients among blue- and white-collar employees, but the risk of death was generally higher among blue-collar employees."

The authors conclude that, "perceived work ability in midlife correlates with mortality among blue-collar and white-collar employees, and work ability in midlife predicts disability in old age. It is plausible that a person's capacity to perform activities in relation to the demands posed by their age-appropriate role in society tracks through decades. The current work ability of middle-aged employees could therefore be considered as an early predictor of functioning in old age."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mikaela B. von Bonsdorff, Jorma Seitsamo, Juhani Ilmarinen, Clas-Håkan Nygård, Monika E. von Bonsdorff and Taina Rantanen. Work ability in midlife as a predictor of mortality and disability in later life: a 28-year prospective follow-up study. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.100713

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Poor work ability may predict faster deterioration of health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131132949.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2011, February 3). Poor work ability may predict faster deterioration of health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131132949.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Poor work ability may predict faster deterioration of health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110131132949.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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