Poor work ability may predict faster deterioration of health

Jan 31, 2011

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 hosted by the Finnish Institute of Occupational . 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 ," 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 could therefore be considered as an early predictor of functioning in old age."

Explore further: Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Workers Get Paid More When They Work For Powerful CEOs

May 19, 2006

For workers at publicly held companies, it literally pays to have a very powerful boss. A new study found that entrenched CEOs – those who have more control rights in their company than all other shareholders combined -- ...

Overtime work is bad for the heart

May 11, 2010

Working overtime is bad for the heart according to results from a long-running study following more than 10,000 civil servants in London (UK): the Whitehall II study.

Recommended for you

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care (Update)

8 hours ago

President Barack Obama said Thursday 8 million Americans have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges, besting expectations and offering new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

Men who show signs of chronic inflammation in non-cancerous prostate tissue may have nearly twice the risk of actually having prostate cancer than those with no inflammation, according to results of a new study led by researchers ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...