Occupational Exposures Associated with Life Expectancy without and with Disability.
ABSTRACT: Policies to extend working lives often do not take into account potentially important health inequalities arising from differences in occupational exposures. Little is known about which occupational exposures are associated with these inequalities. This study aims to examine differences in life expectancy without and with disability by occupational exposures. Longitudinal data (1992-2016) on disability and physical and psychosocial work demands and resources of 2513 (former) workers aged ?55 years participating in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used. Gender specific life expectancies without and with disability by occupational exposures were calculated using multistate survival models. Women aged 55 years with high physical work demands had a lower life expectancy without disability than those with low exposure (1.02-1.57 years), whereas there was no difference for men. Men and women with high psychosocial work demands and resources had a longer life expectancy without disability than those with low exposure (1.19-2.14 years). Life expectancy with disability did not significantly differ across occupational exposures. Workers with higher psychosocial demands and resources and lower physical demands can expect to live more disability-free years. Information on occupational exposure helps to identify workers at risk for lower life expectancy, especially without disability, who may need specific support regarding their work environment.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To identify occupations with a high risk of disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion and to examine the effect of physical and psychosocial work-related factors on occupational differences in disability retirement.<h4>Methods</h4>We followed Finnish wage earners aged 30-59 years (n?=?1,135,654) from 2005 to 2014 for full disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion. The work-related exposures were assessed with job exposure matrices. We calculated age-adjusted incidence rates and hazard ratios to test for the association between occupation and disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion. We also examined the contribution of work-related exposures to the excess risk of disability retirement.<h4>Results</h4>As compared to professionals, the age-adjusted risk of disability retirement was increased among men in all occupational groups except managers and customer service clerks and among women in several occupational groups. Adjustment for education attenuated the occupational differences considerably, particularly among women. The physical work-related factors fully explained the excess risk of disability retirement due to a shoulder lesion among male finance and sales associate professionals and administrative secretaries as well as among agricultural and fishery workers. In women, the physical work-related factors fully explained the excess risk among construction workers, electricians and plumbers. For both genders, the contribution of psychosocial factors to excess risk of disability retirement was modest and seen for monotonous work only.<h4>Conclusions</h4>A reduction of the level of physical work load factors as well as monotonousness of work has a potential to prevent work disability due to a shoulder lesion.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Magnetic fields (MF) from AC electricity are a Possible Human Carcinogen, based on limited epidemiologic evidence from exposures far below occupational health limits. METHODS:To help formulate government guidance on occupational MF, the cancer cases prevented and the monetary benefits accruing to society by reducing workplace exposures were determined. Life-table methods produced Disability Adjusted Life Years, which were converted to monetary values. RESULTS:Adjusted for probabilities of causality, the expected increase in a worker's disability-free life are 0.04 year (2 weeks) from a 1?microtesla (µT) MF reduction in average worklife exposure, which is equivalent to $5,100/worker/µT in year 2010 U.S. dollars (95% confidence interval $1,000-$9,000/worker/µT). Where nine electrosteel workers had 13.8?µT exposures, for example, moving them to ambient MFs would provide $600,000 in benefits to society (uncertainty interval $0-$1,000,000). CONCLUSIONS:When combined with the costs of controls, this analysis provides guidance for precautionary recommendations for managing occupational MF exposures.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Unfavorable psychosocial working conditions have been associated with cognitive decline and chronic diseases, both of which may subsequently accelerate functional dependence. This study aimed to investigate the association between job demand-control-support combinations and trajectories of disability in later life and to further explore the role of cognitive decline and the co-occurrence of chronic diseases in mediating this association.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>In this cohort study, 2,937 community dwellers aged 60+ years (mean age 73 ± 10.6; 62.9% female) residing in the Kungsholmen District of Stockholm, Sweden, participated in the baseline survey (2001-2004) and were followed up to 12 years. Lifelong occupational history was obtained through a standardized interview; job demands, job control, and social support at work in the longest-held occupation were graded with a psychosocial job-exposure matrix. Job control, demands, and social support were dichotomized using the median values from the matrix, respectively, to further generate demand-control-support combinations. Disability was measured by summing the number of impaired basic and instrumental activities of daily living. Global cognitive function was assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination. Chronic conditions were ascertained by clinical examinations, medical history, and patient clinical records; the total number of chronic diseases was summed. Data were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models and mediation analysis. Age, sex, education, alcohol consumption, smoking, leisure activity engagement, early-life socioeconomic status, occupational characteristic and physical demands, and baseline cognitive function and number of chronic diseases were adjusted for in the analyses. Compared with active jobs (high control/high demands; n = 1,807), high strain (low control/high demands; n = 328), low strain (high control/low demands; n = 495), and passive jobs (low control/low demands; n = 307) were all associated with a faster rate of disability progression (? = 0.07, 95% CI 0.02-0.13, p = 0.01; ? = 0.10, 95% CI 0.06-0.15, p < 0.001; ? = 0.11, 95% CI 0.05-0.18, p < 0.001). The association between high strain and disability progression was only shown in people with low social support at work (? = 0.13, 95% CI 0.07-0.19, p < 0.001), but not in those with high social support (? = 0.004, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.10, p = 0.93). Moreover, we estimated that the association between demand-control status and disability trajectories was mediated 38.5% by cognitive decline and 18.4% by accumulation of chronic diseases during the follow-up period. The limitations of this study include unmeasured confounding, self-reported work experience, and the reliance on a psychosocial job-exposure matrix that does not consider variabilities in individuals' perception on working conditions or job characteristics within occupations.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings suggest that negative psychosocial working conditions during working life may accelerate disability progression in later life. Notably, social support at work may buffer the detrimental effect of high strain on disability progression. Cognitive decline and chronic-disease accumulation, and especially the former, partially mediate the association of psychosocial working conditions with trajectories of disability. Further studies are required to explore more mechanisms that underlie the association between psychosocial working conditions and disability trajectories.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Psychosocial work demands and physical workload are important causes of ill health. The dramatic demographic changes in society make it important to understand if such factors change with ageing, but this is presently not known. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether psychosocial work demands and physical workload change across 8 years of ageing, whether occupational groups show different trajectories of change and if such trajectories are reflected in sleep or fatigue. METHODS:A cohort of 5377 participants (mean age: 47.6±11.6 (SD) years, 43.2% males, 40.2% blue-collar workers) was measured through self-report in five biannual waves across 8 years. Mixed model regression analyses was used to investigate change across ageing. RESULTS:Psychosocial work demands decreased significantly across 8 years (Coeff: -0.016±0.001), with the strongest decrease in the high white-collar group (Coeff=-0.031±0.003) and the oldest group. Physical workload also decreased significantly (Coeff=-0.032±0.002), particularly in the blue-collar group (Coeff=-0.050±0.004) and in the oldest group. Fatigue decreased, and sleep problems increased with ageing, but with similar slopes in the occupational groups. All effect sizes were small, but extrapolation suggests substantial decreases across a working life career. CONCLUSIONS:The decrease in psychosocial work demands and physical workload suggests that the burden of work becomes somewhat lighter over 8 years. The mechanism could be 'pure' ageing and/or increased experience or related factors. The gradual improvement in the work situation should be considered in the discussion of the place of older individuals in the labour market, and of a suitable age for retirement. The results also mean that prospective studies of work and health need to consider the improvement in working life with ageing.
Project description:This review aimed to identify risk factors for occupational accidents and illnesses among young workers in the Nordic countries and to attain knowledge on specific vulnerable groups within the young working force that may need special attention. We conducted a systematic review from 1994 to 2014 using five online databases. Of the 12,528 retrieved articles, 54 met the review criteria and were quality assessed, in which data were extracted focusing on identifying occupational safety, health risk factors, and vulnerable groups among the young workers. The review shows that mechanical factors such as heavy lifting, psychosocial factors such as low control over work pace, and organizational factors such as safety climate are all associated with increased injury risk for young Nordic workers. Results show that exposures to chemical substances were associated with skin reactions, e.g., hand eczema. Heavy lifting and awkward postures were risk factors for low back pain, and high job demands were risk factors for mental health outcomes. The review identified young unskilled workers including school drop-out workers as particularly vulnerable groups when it comes to occupational accidents. In addition, apprentices and young skilled workers were found to be vulnerable to work-related illnesses. It is essential to avoid stereotyping young Nordic workers into one group using only age as a factor, as young workers are a heterogeneous group and their vulnerabilities to occupational safety and health risks are contextual. Politicians, researchers, and practitioners should account for this complexity in the education, training and organization of work, and workplace health and safety culture.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The CUPID (Cultural and Psychosocial Influences on Disability) study was established to explore the hypothesis that common musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and associated disability are importantly influenced by culturally determined health beliefs and expectations. This paper describes the methods of data collection and various characteristics of the study sample.<h4>Methods/principal findings</h4>A standardised questionnaire covering musculoskeletal symptoms, disability and potential risk factors, was used to collect information from 47 samples of nurses, office workers, and other (mostly manual) workers in 18 countries from six continents. In addition, local investigators provided data on economic aspects of employment for each occupational group. Participation exceeded 80% in 33 of the 47 occupational groups, and after pre-specified exclusions, analysis was based on 12,426 subjects (92 to 1018 per occupational group). As expected, there was high usage of computer keyboards by office workers, while nurses had the highest prevalence of heavy manual lifting in all but one country. There was substantial heterogeneity between occupational groups in economic and psychosocial aspects of work; three- to five-fold variation in awareness of someone outside work with musculoskeletal pain; and more than ten-fold variation in the prevalence of adverse health beliefs about back and arm pain, and in awareness of terms such as "repetitive strain injury" (RSI).<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The large differences in psychosocial risk factors (including knowledge and beliefs about MSDs) between occupational groups should allow the study hypothesis to be addressed effectively.
Project description:PURPOSE:To assess age-related differences in physical capacity, occupational physical demands, and relative physical strain at a group level, and the balance between capacity and demands at an individual level, for construction and healthcare workers. METHODS:Shoulder strength, back strength, and aerobic capacity were assessed among construction (n = 62) and healthcare workers (n = 64). During a full working day, accelerometers estimated upper-arm elevation, trunk flexion, and occupational physical activity as indicators of occupational physical demands. Simultaneously, normalised surface electromyography (%sEMGmax) of the upper trapezius and erector spinae muscles, and normalised electrocardiography (percentage heart rate reserve (%HRR)) estimated relative physical strain. Differences between younger (≤ 44 years) and older (≥ 45 years) workers, as well as the moderating effect of age on the associations between capacity and demands, were analysed per sector. RESULTS:Compared to younger workers, older workers had similar strength and lower aerobic capacity; older construction workers had similar demands while older healthcare workers had higher demands. Compared to younger workers, older employees had unfavourable muscle activity patterns; %HRR had a tendency to be lower for older construction workers and higher for older healthcare workers. Among construction workers, age moderated the associations between shoulder strength and arm elevation (p = 0.021), and between aerobic capacity and occupational physical activity (p = 0.040). Age did not moderate these associations among healthcare workers. CONCLUSIONS:In both sectors, the level of occupational physical demands and the higher relative physical strain in older employees require addressing to promote sustainable work participation among an aging population.
Project description:Microvascular and macrovascular abnormalities are frequently found on noninvasive tests performed in older adults. Their prognostic implications on disability and life expectancy have not been collectively assessed.This prospective study included 2,452 adults (mean age: 79.5 years) with available measures of microvascular (brain, retina, kidney) and macrovascular abnormalities (brain, carotid, coronary, peripheral artery) in the Cardiovascular Health Study. The burden of microvascular and macrovascular abnormalities was examined in relation to total, activity-of-daily-living disability-free, and severe disability-free life expectancies in the next 10 years (1999-2009).At 75 years, individuals with low burden of both abnormalities lived, on average, 8.71 years (95% confidence interval: 8.29, 9.12) of which 7.67 years (7.16, 8.17) were without disability. In comparison, individuals with high burden of both abnormalities had shortest total life expectancy (6.95 years [6.52, 7.37]; p < .001) and disability-free life expectancy (5.60 years [5.10, 6.11]; p < .001). Although total life expectancy was similarly reduced for those with high burden of either type of abnormalities (microvascular: 7.96 years [7.50, 8.42] vs macrovascular: 8.25 years [7.80, 8.70]; p = .10), microvascular abnormalities seemed to have larger impact than macrovascular abnormalities on disability-free life expectancy (6.45 years [5.90, 6.99] vs 6.96 years [6.43, 7.48]; p = .016). These results were consistent for severe disability-free life expectancy and in individuals without clinical cardiovascular disease.Considering both microvascular and macrovascular abnormalities from multiple noninvasive tests may provide additional prognostic information on how older adults spend their remaining life. Optimal clinical use of this information remains to be determined.
Project description:Although the occupational health field has identified psychosocial factors as risk factors for low back pain that causes disability, the association between disabling low back pain and psychosocial factors has not been examined adequately in Japanese hospital workers. Therefore, this study examined the association between low back pain, which interfered with work, and psychosocial factors in Japanese hospital workers.This cross-sectional study was conducted at a hospital in Japan. In total, 280 hospital workers were recruited from various occupational settings. Of these, 203 completed a self-administered questionnaire that included items concerning individual characteristics, severity of low back pain, fear-avoidance beliefs (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire), somatic symptoms (Somatic Symptom Scale-8), psychological distress (K6), workaholism, and work-related psychosocial factors (response rate: 72.5%). Logistic regression was used to explore risk factors associated with disabling low back pain.Of the 203 participants who completed questionnaires, 36 (17.7%) reported low back pain that interfered with their work. Multivariate analyses with individual factors and occupations adjusted for showed statistically significant associations between disabling low back pain and fear-avoidance beliefs (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 2.619, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.003-6.538], somatic symptoms (OR: 4.034, 95% CI: 1.819-9.337), and interpersonal stress at work (OR: 2.619, 95% CI: 1.067-6.224).Psychosocial factors, such as fear-avoidance beliefs, somatic symptoms, and interpersonal relationships at work, were important risk factors in low back pain that interfered with work in Japanese hospital workers. With respect to occupational health, consideration of psychosocial factors is required to reduce disability related to low back pain.
Project description:Objectives Psychosocial job strain has been associated with a range of adverse health outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the association between psychosocial job strain and prospective risk of polypharmacy (the prescription of ?5 medications) and to evaluate whether coping strategies can modify this risk. Methods Cohort study of 9703 working adults [mean age 47.5 (SD 10.8) years; 54% female] who participated in the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) at baseline in 2006 or 2008. Psychosocial job strain was represented by job demands and control, and measured by the Swedish version of the demand-control questionnaire. The outcome was incidence of polypharmacy over an eight-year follow-up period. Information on dispensed drugs were extracted from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association of job strain status with polypharmacy, adjusted for a range of confounders. Results During the follow-up, 1409 people developed polypharmacy (incident rate: 20.6/1000 person-years). In comparison to workers with low-strain jobs (high control/low demands), those with high-strain jobs (low control/high demands) had a significantly higher risk of incident polypharmacy (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.04-1.89). The impact of high-strain jobs on developing polypharmacy remained among those with covert coping strategies (ie, directed inwards or towards others) but not among those with open coping strategies (ie, primarily directed toward the stressor). Conclusions Workers in high-strain jobs may be at an increased risk of polypharmacy. Open coping strategies may reduce the negative impact of psychosocial job strain on risk of polypharmacy.