Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Blue collar workers work longer and in worse health than their white collar bosses

From the 21 July Eureka news alert

While more Americans are working past age 65 by choice, a growing segment of the population must continue to work well into their sixties out of financial necessity. Research conducted by the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine looked at aging, social class and labor force participation rates to illustrate the challenges that lower income workers face in the global marketplace. The study used the burden of arthritis to examine these connections because 49 million U.S. adults have arthritis, and 21 million suffer activity limitations as a result. The condition is also relatively disabling and painful but not fatal. The researchers found that blue collar workers are much more likely to work past 65 than white collar workers and are much more likely to suffer from conditions like arthritis, reducing their quality of life and work productivity.

The study findings are reported online in the American Journal of Public Health.

The investigators calculated estimates and compared age-and occupational specific data for workers with and without arthritis, merging data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and National Death Index. They studied 17,967 individuals for the analysis out of 38,473 MEPS participants.

“Arthritis serves as a powerful lens for looking at these convergent phenomena,” said Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and first author. “We found that blue-collar workers with arthritis are in much worse health than are all other workers, suggesting that they are struggling to stay in the workforce despite their health condition.”…

Click here to read the rest of the news article

July 22, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health, Uncategorized | , , ,

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