The Association Between Mid-Life Socioeconomic Position and Health After Retirement—Exploring the Role of Working Conditions

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physical working conditions, psychological working conditions, socioeconomic position, health, old age, after retirement age

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Objective: To explore the role of working conditions in the association between socioeconomic position and health after retirement age using over 20 years follow-up.

Method: Two Swedish nationally representative Level of Living Surveys (total N = 1,131) were used. Ordered logistic regression was used to assess the association between socioeconomic position and health (self-rated health, psychological distress, musculoskeletal pain, circulatory problems, physical and cognitive impairment). The role of physical and psychological working conditions was also assessed.

Results: Lower socioeconomic position was associated with more adverse physical, but not psychological, working conditions. Physical working conditions partially explained the differences in physical impairment and musculoskeletal pain in old age attributed to socioeconomic position, but not differences in self-rated health, circulatory problems, psychological distress, and cognitive impairment. Socioeconomic position was a stronger correlate of health than psychological working conditions alone.

Discussion: Improving physical working conditions may be important for reducing the influence of socioeconomic position on health after retirement.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Aging and Health, v. 25, issue 5, p. 863-881