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Association between midlife health behaviours and transitions out of employment from midlife to early old age: Whitehall II cohort study

Hagger-Johnson, G; Carr, E; Murray, E; Stansfeld, S; Shelton, N; Stafford, M; Head, J; (2017) Association between midlife health behaviours and transitions out of employment from midlife to early old age: Whitehall II cohort study. BMC Public Health , 17 , Article 82. 10.1186/s12889-016-3970-4. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: It is important to determine whether unhealthy behaviours might influence transitions out of employment from midlife to old age, given the anticipated need for adults to work for longer. Our aim was to determine the association between repeated assessments of cigarette smoking, heavy/problem alcohol drinking, low physical activity and poor diet at midlife, in relation to work exit from midlife to old age. METHODS: Data from 7704 participants (5392 men) from the Whitehall II cohort study in employment at midlife were used to evaluate the association between unhealthy behaviours and a subsequent transition out of work during 22 years follow-up, using logistic regression models. RESULTS: Men who smoked cigarettes, consistently drank alcohol heavily, or reported problem drinking, were more likely to leave employment over follow-up. Women with a consistently poor diet were more likely to leave employment. Associations were stronger when the reason for leaving was health grounds, and stronger among those with persistently unhealthy behaviours over follow-up. The size of the effects were broadly equivalent to one advancing year of age on employment. Physical health functioning over follow-up only partly accounted for the associations with work exit, whereas physical and mental functioning accounted for most of the associations with work exit on health grounds. CONCLUSIONS: Unhealthy behaviours in midlife are associated with transitions out of employment into old age. Promoting healthy behaviours at midlife might support current policy initiatives aimed at extending working life. Future research should consider possible mechanisms that link behaviours to transitions out of employment, and consider sex differences in larger cohorts.

Type: Article
Title: Association between midlife health behaviours and transitions out of employment from midlife to early old age: Whitehall II cohort study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3970-4
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3970-4
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Alcohol drinking, Cigarette smoking, Employment, Health behaviour, Retirement
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1538578
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