Mid-career work patterns and physical and mental functioning at age 60–64 : evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort
von Bonsdorff, M., Kuh, D., von Bonsdorff, M., & Cooper, R. (2016). Mid-career work patterns and physical and mental functioning at age 60–64 : evidence from the 1946 British birth cohort. European Journal of Public Health, 26 (3), 486-491. doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckw040
Published inEuropean Journal of Public Health
DisciplineGerontologia ja kansanterveys
© The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Background: Previous studies of the associations between unemployment and health have primarily focused on mental health and long-term associations have not often been explored. This study investigated if discontinuous employment in mid-career was related to self-reported physical and mental functioning at age 60–64 years. Methods: Data come from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, a British cohort that has been followed-up since birth in 1946. A total of 2061 study members had data available on mid-career employment patterns and physical and mental functioning assessed using the Short Form 36 questionnaire at age 60–64. Employment patterns in mid-career were categorized into: (i) continuous employment; and discontinuous employment during; (ii) early period (ages 36–43); (iii) late period (ages 43-53); and 4) both periods. Results: Continuous employment was reported by 63.3% of men and 38.7% of women, while 8.7% of men and 23.4% of women reported being in discontinuous employment during both early and late mid-career. When compared with those in continuous employment those in discontinuous employment during both early and late mid-career had poorer physical functioning, men adjusted β (difference in mean physical functioning T score) −3.84, 95% CI − 6.06 to − 1.63, P = 0.001 and women −3.62, 95% CI − 5.17 to − 2.08, P < 0.001. Findings were parallel but weaker for those in discontinuous employment during late mid-career. Discontinuous employment during both periods and particularly during late mid-career was associated with poorer mental functioning in early old age. Conclusions: Discontinuous employment during mid-career was associated with poorer self-reported physical and mental functioning around the age of retirement. ...