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Job stressors and health among older workers in the 1998 Health and Retirement Survey.

Alterman-T; Li-J; Grosch-J
Med Lav 2002 Sep; 93(5):414
Objective. The current study examined the association between job stressors and health among older employed men and women. Methods. Data are from the 1998 Health and Retirement Survey funded by me National Institute on Aging, on a national representative sample, conducted by the University of Michigan, with a target population of U.S. adults born prior to 1948. Demographic and health data, as well as information on income, employment status, and current occupation, along with questions concerning job characteristics and stressors were collected. Multiple logistic regression where the sample design was taken into account, and adjusted for race, age, years of education, and 1997 household income, was used to determine the association between a number of job stressors and several adverse health outcomes including high blood pressure, poor general health, psychiatric problems, and work limitation. In addition to a general question about job stress, job stressors of particular relevance to older workers were selected. Analyses were conducted separately for men and women, and limited to those who were currently working. Results. The sample size for men was 3,953, and for women was 3,731. The mean age for women was 58.5 years and mean age for men was 59.3 years. Approximately 57% of men and 59% of women believed that their job involved lots of stress, while 47% of men and 45% of women indicated that their job required more difficult things than it used to; 17% of men and 15% of women believed their employer gave preference to younger workers in decisions about promotion; and 14% of men and 11% of women felt that co-workers made older people feel they ought to retire before age 65. Beliefs such as their employer giving younger people preference for promotion was a significant risk factor for ever having physician diagnosed hypertension for both women (OR=1.42) and men (OR=1.35). Other significant risk factors for hypertension included pressure to retire before age 65 for men (OR=1.58), and feeling that their job requires them to do more difficult things for women (OR=1.16). Ever having a psychiatric problem was significantly associated with work stress (OR=1.43) in men, and work stress (OR=1.28), and preference for young for promotion (OR=1.51) for women. Additional significant associations between job stressors, poor general health, and work limitation were also found. Conclusion. These results will be presented and implications for the health of older workers in terms of possible behavioral and physiological mechanisms will be discussed.
Stress; Work-analysis; Work-capability; Work-performance; Worker-health; Worker-motivation; Workers; Workplace-studies; Men; Women; Age-factors; Psychological-stress; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-fatigue; Health-protection; Health-services; Health-surveys; Blood-pressure
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Work Environment and Workforce: Organization of Work
Source Name
La Medicina del Lavoro
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division