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Body mass index (BMI) and work ability in older workers: results from the Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Prospective Cohort Study

Body mass index (BMI) and work ability in older workers: results from the Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Prospective Cohort Study
Body mass index (BMI) and work ability in older workers: results from the Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Prospective Cohort Study
This study explores associations between BMI and prolonged sickness absence; cutting down at work; and health-related job loss (HRJL) over two years of follow-up among workers aged ≥50 years. A cohort of 2299 men and 2425 women (aged 50–64 years) self-reported height and weight at baseline and provided information about work ability at 12 and 24 months for the Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Study. Associations between BMI and work ability were assessed by logistic regression and HRJL by multiple-record Cox’s proportional hazards models, with adjustment for other risk factors. The prevalence of obesity/severe obesity was 22.6%/1.2% amongst men and 21.4%/2.6% amongst women, respectively. In men and women, obesity and severe obesity predicted having to cut down at work for health over two years. In women, severe obesity predicted prolonged sickness absence, and also HRJL even after adjustment for age, proximity to retirement, financial difficulties, and lifestyle factors (hazard ratio [HR] 2.93, 95% CI 1.38, 6.23), and additional adjustment for health conditions (HR 2.52, 95% CI 1.12, 5.67). Obesity, and particularly severe obesity, negatively impacts work ability amongst people aged 50–64 years, with greatest effects in women. Obesity can be expected to hinder attempts to encourage work to older ages.
Body mass index, Health-related job loss, Obesity, Older worker, Sickness absence, Work ability
1660-4601
Linaker, Catherine
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D'angelo, Stefania
13375ecd-1117-4b6e-99c0-32239f52eed6
Syddall, Holly Emma
a0181a93-8fc3-4998-a996-7963f0128328
Harris, E. Clare
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Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109
Linaker, Catherine
6c6d1b90-ee40-4c96-8b2e-b06efbe030ae
D'angelo, Stefania
13375ecd-1117-4b6e-99c0-32239f52eed6
Syddall, Holly Emma
a0181a93-8fc3-4998-a996-7963f0128328
Harris, E. Clare
3e4bd946-3f09-45a1-8725-d35e80dd7971
Cooper, Cyrus
e05f5612-b493-4273-9b71-9e0ce32bdad6
Walker-Bone, Karen
ad7d1336-ed2c-4f39-ade5-da84eb412109

Linaker, Catherine, D'angelo, Stefania, Syddall, Holly Emma, Harris, E. Clare, Cooper, Cyrus and Walker-Bone, Karen (2020) Body mass index (BMI) and work ability in older workers: results from the Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Prospective Cohort Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (5), [1647]. (doi:10.3390/ijerph17051647).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This study explores associations between BMI and prolonged sickness absence; cutting down at work; and health-related job loss (HRJL) over two years of follow-up among workers aged ≥50 years. A cohort of 2299 men and 2425 women (aged 50–64 years) self-reported height and weight at baseline and provided information about work ability at 12 and 24 months for the Health and Employment after Fifty (HEAF) Study. Associations between BMI and work ability were assessed by logistic regression and HRJL by multiple-record Cox’s proportional hazards models, with adjustment for other risk factors. The prevalence of obesity/severe obesity was 22.6%/1.2% amongst men and 21.4%/2.6% amongst women, respectively. In men and women, obesity and severe obesity predicted having to cut down at work for health over two years. In women, severe obesity predicted prolonged sickness absence, and also HRJL even after adjustment for age, proximity to retirement, financial difficulties, and lifestyle factors (hazard ratio [HR] 2.93, 95% CI 1.38, 6.23), and additional adjustment for health conditions (HR 2.52, 95% CI 1.12, 5.67). Obesity, and particularly severe obesity, negatively impacts work ability amongst people aged 50–64 years, with greatest effects in women. Obesity can be expected to hinder attempts to encourage work to older ages.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 February 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 3 March 2020
Published date: 3 March 2020
Keywords: Body mass index, Health-related job loss, Obesity, Older worker, Sickness absence, Work ability

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 438603
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/438603
ISSN: 1660-4601
PURE UUID: f98e0739-f346-4424-854c-e53a2e33d140
ORCID for Catherine Linaker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1091-9283
ORCID for Stefania D'angelo: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7267-1837
ORCID for Holly Emma Syddall: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0171-0306
ORCID for E. Clare Harris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8037-566X
ORCID for Cyrus Cooper: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3510-0709
ORCID for Karen Walker-Bone: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5992-1459

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 Mar 2020 17:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:59

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Contributors

Author: Stefania D'angelo ORCID iD
Author: E. Clare Harris ORCID iD
Author: Cyrus Cooper ORCID iD

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