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Transitioning out of work and metabolic syndrome incidence: a longitudinal study among 13 303 older workers from the Lifelines Cohort Study and Biobank
  1. Katharina Runge1,2,
  2. Sander K. R. van Zon2,
  3. Ute Bültmann2,
  4. Kène Henkens1,2,3
  1. 1Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)-KNAW/University of Groningen, The Hague, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Health Sciences, Community & Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  3. 3Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Katharina Runge, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)-KNAW/University of Groningen, 2511CV The Hague, The Netherlands; runge{at}nidi.nl

Abstract

Background This study investigates (1) whether different employment transition types (ie, unemployment, work disability, early retirement and regular retirement) are associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) incidence among older workers (50–64 years) and (2) whether occupational group moderates the association between employment transition type and MetS incidence.

Methods A sample of 13 303 older Dutch workers from the Lifelines Cohort Study and Biobank was examined using longitudinal data from two comprehensive measurement waves with a mean follow-up time of 3.7 years. MetS components were based on physical measures, blood markers and medication use. Employment transitions were determined using questionnaires. Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the association between employment transition type and MetS incidence.

Results Older workers who transitioned from employment to unemployment (adjusted OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.82) or work disability (adjusted OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.15 to 3.10) had a significantly higher MetS incidence than the working control group. No association between early retirement or regular retirement with MetS incidence was found after adjusting for sociodemographic, educational and occupational factors. Occupational group did not moderate the association between employment transition type and MetS incidence.

Conclusion The results suggest that older workers who transition from employment to unemployment or work disability are at risk for developing MetS. More awareness among occupational physicians and general practitioners about MetS incidence in late working life is needed in general and more specific among older workers who transition into unemployment or work disability.

  • ENDOCRINOLOGY
  • Older workers
  • Employment transitions
  • Retirement
  • Objective health outcomes

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Researchers can apply for the data and biomaterial through a proposal that is submitted to the Lifelines research office (research@lifelines.nl).

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. Researchers can apply for the data and biomaterial through a proposal that is submitted to the Lifelines research office (research@lifelines.nl).

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Footnotes

  • Contributors KR: conceptualisation, data curation, formal analysis, methodology, project administration, validation, visualisation, writing—original draft. SKRvZ: conceptualisation, methodology, supervision, validation, writing—review and editing. UB: conceptualisation, methodology, supervision, validation, writing—review and editing. KH: conceptualisation, methodology, supervision, validation, writing—review and editing, guarantor.

  • Funding This work was funded by a grant from the research fund of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), grant number 453-14-001 to KH and 453-16-007 to UB. The Lifelines initiative has been made possible by subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), Groningen University and the Provinces in the North of the Netherlands (Drenthe, Friesland, Groningen).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.