Browsing by Subject "WHITEHALL-II"

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  • Ervasti, Jenni; Kivimaki, Mika; Pentti, Jaana; Halonen, Jaana I.; Vahtera, Jussi; Virtanen, Marianna (2018)
    Background We investigated whether changes in alcohol use predict changes in the risk of sickness absence in a case-crossover design. Methods Finnish public sector employees were surveyed in 2000, 2004 and 2008 on alcohol use and covariates. Heavy drinking was defined as either a weekly intake that exceeded recommendations (12 units for women; 23 for men) or having an extreme drinking session. The responses were linked to national sickness absence registers. We analysed the within-person relative risk of change in the risk of sickness absence in relation to change in drinking. Case period refers to being sickness absent within 1 year of the survey and control period refers to not being sickness absent within 1 year of the survey. Results Periods of heavy drinking were associated with increased odds of self-certified short-term (1-3 days) sickness absence (multivariable-adjusted OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.38 for all participants; 1.62, 95% CI 1.19 to 2.21 for men and 1.15, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.33 for women). A higher risk of short-term sickness absence was also observed after increase in drinking (OR=1.27, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.52) and a lower risk was observed after decrease in drinking (OR=0.83, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.00). Both increase (OR=1.38, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.57) and decrease (OR=1.27, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.43) in drinking were associated with increased risk of long-term (> 9 days) medically certified all-cause sickness absence. Conclusion Increase in drinking was related to increases in short-term and long-term sickness absences. Men and employees with a low socioeconomic position in particular seemed to be at risk.
  • Manty, Minna; Kouvonen, Anne; Lallukka, Tea; Lahti, Jouni; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2015)
    Objectives The aim this study was to examine the effect of changes in physical and psychosocial working conditions on physical health functioning among ageing municipal employees. Methods Follow-up survey data were collected from midlife employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland, at three time points: wave 1(2000-2002), wave 2(2007), and wave 3 (2012). Changes in physical and psychosocial working conditions were assessed between waves 1 and 2. Physical health functioning was measured by the physical component summary (PCS) of the Short-Form 36 questionnaire at each of the three waves. In total, 2784 respondents (83% women) who remained employed over the follow-up were available for the analyses. Linear mixed-effect models were used to assess the associations and adjust for key covariates (age, gender, obesity, chronic diseases, and health behaviors). Results Repeated and increased exposure to adverse physical working conditions was associated with greater decline in physical health functioning over time. In contrast, decrease in exposures reduced the decline Of the psychosocial working conditions, changes in job demands had no effects on physical health functioning. However, decreased job control was associated with greater decline and repeated high or increased job control reduced the decline in physical health functioning over time. Conclusions Adverse changes in physical working conditions and job control were associated with greater decline in physical health functioning over time, whereas favorable changes in these exposures reduced the decline. Preventing deterioration and promoting improvement of working conditions are likely to help maintain better physical health functioning among ageing employees.
  • Juyani, Anne; Oksanen, Tuula; Virtanen, Marianna; Salo, Paula; Pentti, Jaana; Kivimaki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi (2018)
    Objectives The aim of this study was to examine the association between co-occurring work stressors and risk of disability pension. Methods The work stressors job strain, effort-reward imbalance (ERI), and organizational injustice were measured by a survey in 2008 of 41 862 employees linked to national records of all-cause and cause-specific disability pensions until 2011. Co-occurring work stressors were examined as risk factors of work disability using Cox regression marginal models. Results Work stressors were clustered: 50.8% had no work stressors [observed-to-expected ratio (O/E)=1.2], 27.4% were exposed to one stressor (O/E=0.61-0.81), 17.7% to two stressors (O/E=0.91-1.73) and 6.4% to all three stressors (O/E=2.59). During a mean follow-up of 3.1 years, 976 disability pensions were granted. Compared to employees with no work stressors, those with (i) co-occurring strain and ERI or (ii) strain, ERI and injustice had a 1.9-2.1-fold [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-2.6] increased risk of disability retirement. The corresponding hazard ratios were 1.2 and 1.5 (95% CI 1.0-1.8) for strain and ERI alone. Risk of disability pension from depressive disorders was 4.4-4.7-fold (95% CI 2.4-8.0) for combinations of strain+ERI and strain+ERI+injustice, and 1.9-2.5-fold (95% CI 1.1-4.0) for strain and ERI alone. For musculoskeletal disorders, disability risk was 1.6-1.9-fold (95% CI 1.3-2.3) for strain+ERI and ERI+injustice combinations, and 1.3-fold (95% CI 1.0-1.7) for strain alone. Supplementary analyses with work stressors determined using work-unit aggregates supported these findings. Conclusions Work stressors tend to cluster in the same individuals. The highest risk of disability pension was observed among those with work stressor combinations strain+ERI or strain+ERI+injustice, rather than for those with single stressors.
  • Virtanen, Marianna; Elovainio, Marko; Josefsson, Kim; Batty, G. David; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Kivimaki, Mika (2017)
    Objective To examine coronary heart disease (CHD) and its risk factors as predictors of long-term trajectories of psychological distress from midlife to old age. Methods In the Whitehall II cohort study, 6890 participants (4814 men, 2076 women; mean age 49.5 years) had up to seven repeat assessments of psychological distress over 21 years (mean follow-up 19 years). CHD and its risk factors (lifestyle-related risk factors, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol) were assessed at baseline. Group-based trajectory modelling was used to identify clusters of individuals with a similar pattern of psychological distress over time. Results We identified four trajectories of psychological distress over the follow-up: 'persistently low (69% of the participants), 'persistently intermediate' (13%), 'intermediate to low' (12%) and 'persistently high' (7%). The corresponding proportions were 60%, 16%, 13% and 11% among participants with CHD; 63%, 15%, 12% and 10% among smokers and 63%, 16%, 12% and 10% among obese participants. In multivariable adjusted multinomial regression analyses comparing other trajectories to persistently low trajectory, prevalent CHD was associated with intermediate to low (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.08 to 2.68) and persistently high (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.19) trajectories. Smoking (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.64; OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.19 to 2.04) and obesity (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.70; OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.01) were associated with persistently intermediate and persistently high trajectories, respectively. Conclusion CHD, smoking and obesity may have a role in the development of long-lasting psychological distress from midlife to old age.
  • Rantonen, J.; Karppinen, J.; Vehtari, A.; Luoto, S.; Viikari-Juntura, E.; Hupli, M.; Malmivaara, A.; Taimela, S. (2016)
    Background: Evidence shows that low back specific patient information is effective in sub-acute low back pain (LBP), but effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (CE) of information in early phase symptoms is not clear. We assessed effectiveness and CE of patient information in mild LBP in the occupational health (OH) setting in a quasi-experimental study. Methods: A cohort of employees (N = 312, aged Results: Compared to NC, the Booklet reduced HC costs by 196(sic) and SA by 3.5 days per year. In 81 % of the bootstrapped cases the Booklet was both cost saving and effective on SA. Compared to NC, in the Combined arm, the figures were 107(sic), 0.4 days, and 54 %, respectively. PHI decreased in both interventions. Conclusions: Booklet information alone was cost-effective in comparison to natural course of mild LBP. Combined information reduced HC costs. Both interventions reduced physical impairment. Mere booklet information is beneficial for employees who report mild LBP in the OH setting, and is also cost saving for the health care system.
  • Oksanen, Tuula; Kawachi, Ichiro; Subramanian, S. V.; Kim, Daniel; Shirai, Kokoro; Kouvonen, Anne; Pentti, Jaana; Salo, Paula; Virtanen, Marianna; Vahtera, Jussi; Kivimaki, Mika (2013)
  • Halonen, J. I.; Solovieva, S.; Pentti, J.; Kivimaki, M.; Vahtera, J.; Viikari-Juntura, E. (2016)
    Objectives Policies have been introduced to reduce sickness absence, but their effectiveness is largely unknown. In a natural experiment, we examined effects of legislative changes on return to work and work participation. Methods The source population consisted of up to 72164 Finnish public sector employees with a permanent job contract in 2008-2011 (before) and in 2013-2014 (after). We used employees with a continuous sickness absence of at least 30 calendar-days (n=5708-6393), 60 compensated days (n=1481-1655) and 90 compensated days (n=766-932). We examined sustainable return to work (a minimum of 28 consecutive working days) with survival analysis as well as monthly work participation after a sickness absence, and annual gain in work participation after the intervention, using trajectory analyses. Results Sustainable return to work after 60days of sickness absence occurred earlier after the legislative changes (p value 0.017), although the effect reduced towards the end of the follow-up. There were no differences in return to work after a 30 or 90days of sickness absence. The largest annual gain, postintervention versus preintervention, in monthly work participation was observed among employees with 60days of sickness absence and was 230.9 person-years/10000 employees. The corresponding annual gains among those with 30days and 90days of sickness absence were 51.8 and 39.6, respectively. Conclusions Our findings suggest that the legislative changes, obligating early notification of prolonged sickness absences as well as assessment of remaining work ability and possibilities to continue working, may enhance sustainable return to work in the short term. Other measures will be needed to enhance work participation, especially in the long term.
  • Rantonen, J.; Karppinen, J.; Vehtari, A.; Luoto, S.; Viikari-Juntura, E.; Hupli, M.; Malmivaara, A.; Taimela, S. (2018)
    Background: We assessed the effectiveness of three interventions that were aimed to reduce non-acute low back pain (LBP) related symptoms in the occupational health setting. Methods: Based on a survey (n = 2480; response rate 71%) on LBP, we selected a cohort of 193 employees who reported moderate LBP (Visual Analogue Scale VAS > 34 mm) and fulfilled at least one of the following criteria during the past 12 months: sciatica, recurrence of LBP >= 2 times, LBP >= 2 weeks, or previous sickness absence. A random sample was extracted from the cohort as a control group (Control, n = 50), representing the natural course of LBP. The remaining 143 employees were invited to participate in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of three 1:1:1 allocated parallel intervention arms: multidisciplinary rehabilitation (Rehab, n = 43); progressive exercises (Physio, n = 43) and self-care advice (Advice, n = 40). Seventeen employees declined participation in the intervention. The primary outcome measures were physical impairment (PHI), LBP intensity (Visual Analogue Scale), health related quality of life (QoL), and accumulated sickness absence days. We imputed missing values with multiple imputation procedure. We assessed all comparisons between the intervention groups and the Control group by analysing questionnaire outcomes at 2 years with ANOVA and sickness absence at 4 years by using negative binomial model with a logarithmic link function. Results: Mean differences between the Rehab and Control groups were - 3 [95% CI -5 to - 1] for PHI, - 13 [- 24 to - 1] for pain intensity, and 0.06 [0.00 to 0.12] for QoL. Mean differences between the Physio and Control groups were - 3 [95% CI -5 to - 1] for PHI, -13 [- 29 to 2] for pain intensity, and 0.07 [0.01 to 0.13] for QoL. The main effects sizes were from 0.4 to 0.6. The interventions were not effective in reducing sickness absence. Conclusions: Rehab and Physio interventions improved health related quality of life, decreased low back pain and physical impairment in non-acute, moderate LBP, but we found no differences between the Advice and Control group results. No effectiveness on sickness absence was observed.
  • Sumanen, Hilla; Pietilainen, Olli; Lahti, Jouni; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2015)
    Background: A low socioeconomic position (SEP) is consistently associated with ill health, sickness absence (SA) and permanent disability, but studies among young employees are lacking. We examined the interrelationships between education, occupational class and income as determinants of SA among 25-34-year-old employees. We also examined, whether the association between SEP and SA varied over time in 2002-2007 and 2008-2013. Methods: The analyses covered young, 25-34-year-old women and men employed by the City of Helsinki over the time periods 2002-2007 and 2008-2013. Four-level education and occupational class classifications were used, as well as income quartiles. The outcome measure was the number of annual SA days. Results: Education had the strongest and most consistent independent association with SA among women and men in both periods under study. Occupational class had weaker independent and less consistent association with SA. Income had an independent association with SA, which strengthened over time among the men. The interrelationships between the SEP indicators and SA were partly explained by prior or mediated through subsequent SEP indicators. Socioeconomic differences followed only partially a gradient for occupational class and also for income among men. Conclusions: Preventive measures to reduce the risk of SA should be considered, especially among young employees with a basic or lower-secondary education.
  • Nyberg, Solja T.; Fransson, Eleonor I.; Heikkila, Katriina; Alfredsson, Lars; Casini, Annalisa; Clays, Els; De Bacquer, Dirk; Dragano, Nico; Erbel, Raimund; Ferrie, Jane E.; Hamer, Mark; Joeckel, Karl-Heinz; Kittel, France; Knutsson, Anders; Ladwig, Karl-Heinz; Lunau, Thorsten; Marmot, Michael G.; Nordin, Maria; Rugulies, Reiner; Siegrist, Johannes; Steptoe, Andrew; Westerholm, Peter J. M.; Westerlund, Hugo; Theorell, Tores; Brunner, Eric J.; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Batty, G. David; Kivimaki, Mika (2013)
    Background: Job strain is associated with an increased coronary heart disease risk, but few large-scale studies have examined the relationship of this psychosocial characteristic with the biological risk factors that potentially mediate the job strain - heart disease association. Methodology and Principal Findings: We pooled cross-sectional, individual-level data from eight studies comprising 47,045 participants to investigate the association between job strain and the following cardiovascular disease risk factors: diabetes, blood pressure, pulse pressure, lipid fractions, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, and overall cardiovascular disease risk as indexed by the Framingham Risk Score. In age-, sex-, and socioeconomic status-adjusted analyses, compared to those without job strain, people with job strain were more likely to have diabetes (odds ratio 1.29; 95% CI: 1.11-1.51), to smoke (1.14; 1.08-1.20), to be physically inactive (1.34; 1.26-1.41), and to be obese (1.12; 1.04-1.20). The association between job strain and elevated Framingham risk score (1.13; 1.03-1.25) was attributable to the higher prevalence of diabetes, smoking and physical inactivity among those reporting job strain. Conclusions: In this meta-analysis of work-related stress and cardiovascular disease risk factors, job strain was linked to adverse lifestyle and diabetes. No association was observed between job strain, clinic blood pressure or blood lipids.
  • Hanson, Linda L. Magnusson; Westerlund, Hugo; Chungkham, Holendro S.; Vahtera, Jussi; Rod, Naja H.; Alexanderson, Kristina; Goldberg, Marcel; Kivimäki, Mika; Stenholm, Sari; Platts, Loretta G.; Zins, Marie; Head, Jenny (2018)
    Objectives Poor psychosocial working conditions increase the likelihood of various types of morbidity and may substantially limit quality of life and possibilities to remain in paid work. To date, however, no studies to our knowledge have quantified the extent to which poor psychosocial working conditions reduce healthy or chronic disease-free life expectancy, which was the focus of this study. Methods Data were derived from four cohorts with repeat data: the Finnish Public Sector Study (Finland), GAZEL (France), the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (Sweden) and Whitehall II (UK). Healthy (in good self-rated health) life expectancy (HLE) and chronic disease-free (free from cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and diabetes) life expectancy (CDFLE) was calculated from age 50 to 75 based on 64394 individuals with data on job strain (high demands in combination with low control) at baseline and health at baseline and follow-up. Results Multistate life table models showed that job strain was consistently related to shorter HLE (overall 1.7 years difference). The difference in HLE was more pronounced among men (2.0 years compared with 1.5 years for women) and participants in lower occupational positions (2.5 years among low-grade men compared with 1.7 years among high-grade men). Similar differences in HLE, although smaller, were observed among those in intermediate or high occupational positions. Job strain was additionally associated with shorter CDFLE, although this association was weaker and somewhat inconsistent. Conclusions These findings suggest that individuals with job strain have a shorter health expectancy compared with those without job strain.
  • Heikkila, Katriina; Nyberg, Solja T.; Fransson, Eleonor I.; Alfredsson, Lars; De Bacquer, Dirk; Bjorner, Jakob B.; Bonenfant, Sebastien; Borritz, Marianne; Burr, Hermann; Clays, Els; Casini, Annalisa; Dragano, Nico; Erbel, Raimund; Geuskens, Goedele A.; Goldberg, Marcel; Hooftman, Wendela E.; Houtman, Irene L.; Joensuu, Matti; Joeckel, Karl-Heinz; Kittel, France; Knutsson, Anders; Koskenvuo, Markku; Koskinen, Aki; Kouvonen, Anne; Leineweber, Constanze; Lunau, Thorsten; Madsen, Ida E. H.; Hanson, Linda L. Magnusson; Marmot, Michael G.; Nielsen, Martin L.; Nordin, Maria; Pentti, Jaana; Salo, Paula; Rugulies, Reiner; Steptoe, Andrew; Siegrist, Johannes; Suominen, Sakari; Vahtera, Jussi; Virtanen, Marianna; Vaananen, Ari; Westerholm, Peter; Westerlund, Hugo; Zins, Marie; Theorell, Tores; Hamer, Mark; Ferrie, Jane E.; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Batty, G. David; Kivimaeki, Mika; IPD Work Consortium (2012)
  • Virtanen, Marianna; Elovainio, Marko (2018)
    Modern work life is characterized by constant change, reorganizations, and requirements of efficiency, which make the distribution of resources and obligations, as well as justice in decisionmaking, highly important. In the work life context, it is a question not only of distributing resources and obligations, but also of the procedures and rules that guide the decisionmaking in the organization. Studies of these rules and procedures have provided the basis for a new line of research that evaluates leadership and social relationships in working communities; that is, distributive, procedural, and relational justice. This review follows the development of research on organizational justice from its origins in early social and motivational psychological theories to its establishment as a major line of research in modern work and organizational psychology. The adverse consequences of injustice include poor team climate, reduced productivity and well-being, and work-related illnesses.
  • Kivimaki, Mika; Jokela, Markus; Nyberg, Solja T.; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Fransson, Eleonor I.; Alfredsson, Lars; Bjorner, Jakob B.; Borritz, Marianne; Burr, Hermann; Casini, Annalisa; Clays, Els; De Bacquer, Dirk; Dragano, Nico; Erbel, Raimund; Geuskens, Goedele A.; Hamer, Mark; Hooftman, Wendela E.; Houtman, Irene L.; Jockel, Karl-Heinz; Kittel, France; Knutsson, Anders; Koskenvuo, Markku; Lunau, Thorsten; Madsen, Ida E. H.; Nielsen, Martin L.; Nordin, Maria; Oksanen, Tuula; Pejtersen, Jan H.; Pentti, Jaana; Rugulies, Reiner; Salo, Paula; Shipley, Martin J.; Siegrist, Johannes; Steptoe, Andrew; Suominen, Sakari B.; Theorell, Tores; Vahtera, Jussi; Westerholm, Peter J. M.; Westerlund, Hugo; O'Reilly, Dermot; Kumari, Meena; Batty, G. David; Ferrie, Jane E.; Virtanen, Marianna (2015)
    Background Long working hours might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but prospective evidence is scarce, imprecise, and mostly limited to coronary heart disease. We aimed to assess long working hours as a risk factor for incident coronary heart disease and stroke. Methods We identified published studies through a systematic review of PubMed and Embase from inception to Aug 20, 2014. We obtained unpublished data for 20 cohort studies from the Individual-Participant-Data Meta-analysis in Working Populations (IPD-Work) Consortium and open-access data archives. We used cumulative random-effects meta-analysis to combine effect estimates from published and unpublished data. Findings We included 25 studies from 24 cohorts in Europe, the USA, and Australia. The meta-analysis of coronary heart disease comprised data for 603 838 men and women who were free from coronary heart disease at baseline; the meta-analysis of stroke comprised data for 528 908 men and women who were free from stroke at baseline. Follow-up for coronary heart disease was 5.1 million person-years (mean 8.5 years), in which 4768 events were recorded, and for stroke was 3.8 million person-years (mean 7.2 years), in which 1722 events were recorded. In cumulative meta-analysis adjusted for age, sex, and socioeconomic status, compared with standard hours (35-40 h per week), working long hours (>= 55 h per week) was associated with an increase in risk of incident coronary heart disease (relative risk [RR] 1.13, 95% CI 1.02-1.26; p=0.02) and incident stroke (1.33, 1.11-1.61; p=0.002). The excess risk of stroke remained unchanged in analyses that addressed reverse causation, multivariable adjustments for other risk factors, and different methods of stroke ascertainment (range of RR estimates 1.30-1.42). We recorded a dose-response association for stroke, with RR estimates of 1.10 (95% CI 0.94-1.28; p=0.24) for 41-48 working hours, 1.27 (1.03-1.56; p=0.03) for 49-54 working hours, and 1.33 (1.11-1.61; p=0.002) for 55 working hours or more per week compared with standard working hours (p(trend) Interpretation Employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours; the association with coronary heart disease is weaker. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the management of vascular risk factors in individuals who work long hours. Copyright (C) Kivimaki et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY.
  • Brunner, Eric J; Shipley, Martin J; Ahmadi-Abhari, Sara; Valencia Hernandez, Carlos; Abell, Jessica G; Singh-Manoux, Archana; Kawachi, Ichiro; Kivimaki, Mika (2018)
    Background Health inequalities persist into old age. We aimed to investigate risk factors for socioeconomic differences in frailty that could potentially be modified through policy measures. Methods In this multi-wave longitudinal cohort study (Whitehall II study), we assessed participants' socioeconomic status, behavioural and biomedical risk factors, and disease status at age 45-55 years, and frailty (defined according to the Fried phenotype) at baseline and at one or more of three clinic visits about 18 years later (mean age 69 years [SD 5.9]). We used logistic mixed models to examine the associations between socioeconomic status and risk factors at age 50 years and subsequent prevalence of frailty (adjusted for sex, ethnic origin, and age), with sensitivity analyses and multiple imputation for missing data. Findings Between Sept 9, 2007, and Dec 8, 2016, 6233 middle-aged adults were measured for frailty. Frailty was present in 562 (3%) of 16 164 person-observations, and varied by socioeconomic status: 145 (2%) person-observations had high socioeconomic status, 241 (4%) had intermediate status, and 176 (7%) had low socioeconomic status, adjusting for sex and age. Risk factors for frailty included cardiovascular disease, depression, smoking, high or abstinent alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable consumption, physical inactivity, poor lung function, hypertension, and overweight or obesity. Cardiometabolic markers for future frailty were high ratio of total to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and raised interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein concentrations. The five most important factors contributing to the frailty gradient, assessed by percent attenuation of the association between socioeconomic status and frailty, were physical activity (13%), interleukin-6 (13%), body-mass index category (11%), C-reactive protein (11%), and poor lung function (10%). Overall, socioeconomic differences in frailty were reduced by 40% in the maximally-adjusted model compared with the minimally-adjusted model. Interpretation Behavioural and cardiometabolic risk factors in midlife account for more than a third of socioeconomic differences in frailty. Our findings suggest that interventions targeting physical activity, obesity, smoking, and low-grade inflammation in middle age might reduce socioeconomic differences in later-life frailty. Copyright (c) 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Pekkala, Johanna; Blomgren, Jenni; Pietilainen, Olli; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2017)
    Background: Musculoskeletal diseases and mental disorders are major causes of long-term sickness absence in Western countries. Although sickness absence is generally more common in lower occupational classes, little is known about class differences in diagnostic-specific absence over time. Focusing on Finland during 2005-2014, we therefore set out to examine the magnitude of and changes in absolute and relative occupational class differences in long-term sickness absence due to major diagnostic causes. Methods: A 70-per-cent random sample of Finns aged 25-64 linked to register data on medically certified sickness absence (of over 10 working days) in 2005-2014 was retrieved from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. Information on occupational class was obtained from Statistics Finland and linked to the data. The study focused on female (n = 658,148-694,142) and male (n = 604,715-642,922) upper and lower non-manual employees and manual workers. The age-standardised prevalence, the Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and the Relative Index of Inequality (RII) were calculated for each study year to facilitate examination of the class differences. Results: The prevalence of each diagnostic cause of sickness absence declined during the study period, the most common causes being musculoskeletal diseases, mental disorders and injuries. The prevalence of other causes under scrutiny was less than 1 % annually. By far the largest absolute and relative differences were in musculoskeletal diseases among both women and men. Moreover, the absolute differences in both genders (p <0. 0001) and the relative differences in men (p <0.0001) narrowed over time as the prevalence declined most among manual workers. Both genders showed modest and stable occupational class differences in mental disorders. In the case of injuries, no major changes occurred in absolute differences but relative differences narrowed over time in men (p <0.0001) due to a strong decline in prevalence among manual workers. Class differences in the other studied diagnostic causes under scrutiny appeared negligible. Conclusions: By far the largest occupational class differences in long-term sickness absence concerned musculoskeletal diseases, followed by injuries. The results highlight potential targets for preventive measures aimed at reducing sickness absence and narrowing class differences in the future.
  • Airaksinen, Jaakko; Jokela, Markus; Virtanen, Marianna; Oksanen, Tuula; Koskenvuo, Markku; Pentti, Jaana; Vahtera, Jussi; Kivimaki, Mika (2018)
    Objectives This study aimed to develop and validate a risk prediction model for long-term sickness absence. Methods Survey responses on work-and lifestyle-related questions from 65 775 public-sector employees were linked to sickness absence records to develop a prediction score for medically-certified sickness absence lasting > 9 days and >= 90 days. The score was externally validated using data from an independent population-based cohort of 13 527 employees. For both sickness absence outcomes, a full model including 46 candidate predictors was reduced to a parsimonious model using least-absolute-shrinkage-and-selection-operator (LASSO) regression. Predictive performance of the model was evaluated using C-index and calibration plots. Results Variance explained in >= 90-day sickness absence by the full model was 12.5%. In the parsimonious model, the predictors included self-rated health (linear and quadratic term), depression, sex, age (linear and quadratic), socioeconomic position, previous sickness absences, number of chronic diseases, smoking, shift work, working night shift, and quadratic terms for body mass index and Jenkins sleep scale. The discriminative ability of the score was good (C-index 0.74 in internal and 0.73 in external validation). Calibration plots confirmed high correspondence between the predicted and observed risk. In > 9-day sickness absence, the full model explained 15.2% of the variance explained, but the C-index of the parsimonious model was poor ( Conclusions Individuals' risk of a long-term sickness absence that lasts >= 90 days can be estimated using a brief risk score. The predictive performance of this score is comparable to those for established multifactorial risk algorithms for cardiovascular disease, such as the Framingham risk score.
  • Sumanen, Hilla; Pietilainen, Olli; Lahelma, Eero; Rahkonen, Ossi (2017)
    Background: Mental disorders are common diagnostic causes for longer sickness absence and disability retirement in OECD-countries. Short sickness absence spells are also common, and neither trivial for health and work ability. We studied how prior short sickness absence spells and days are associated with subsequent longer sickness absence due to mental disorders in two age-groups of municipal employees during a 2-, 5- and 9-year follow-up. Methods: The analyses covered 20-34 and 35-49-year-old employees of the City of Helsinki in 2004. Those with prior >= 14 day sickness absence in 2002, 2003 or 2004 were excluded. Women and men were pooled together. Short, 1-13-day sickness absence spells and days were calculated per the actual time of employment during 2004. Logistic regression analysis was used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the subsequent long (>= 14 days) sickness absence due to mental disorders during three follow-ups. Results: The risk for long sickness absence due to mental disorders increased with increasing amount of short sickness absence spells and days. 3 or more short sickness absence spells and 8-14 sickness absence days from short spells in 2004 were strongly associated with subsequent long sickness absence in all three follow-ups. The associations were strongest for the 2-year follow-up; the younger employees tended to have higher risks than the older ones. Conclusions: Three spells or 8 days of short sickness absence per year constitutes a high risk for subsequent long sickness absence due to mental disorders and preventive measures should be considered.
  • Mattila, Vesa Mikko; Wass, Hanna Maria; Lahtinen, Hannu Antero; Martikainen, Pekka Tapani (2018)
    Previous studies show that people with poor health have a lower propensity to vote. With individual-level register data on sickness allowance episodes and voting in three Finnish elections, we address the following questions: (1) What degree of sickness allowance days negatively influences turnout? (2) Are sickness absences on election day more harmful than absences that occur before the elections? (3) What is the effect of cumulative sickness allowance spells before the elections over a period of several years? We use a threefold categorisation approach, which differentiates between immediate, short-term and long-term health effects on voting. The results show that multiple sickness allowance spells over several years are more strongly connected to turnout than health problems experienced only in the year prior to the elections. Falling ill at the time of the elections had no consistent additional negative relationship with voting. We suggest that the demobilising effects of immediate health problems are associated with tangible factors, while long-term effects are related to lowered levels of political efficacy, interest and social connectedness.
  • Ervasti, Jenni; Kivimäki, Mika; Head, Jenny; Goldberg, Marcel; Airagnes, Guillaume; Pentti, Jaana; Oksanen, Tuula; Salo, Paula; Suominen, Sakari; Jokela, Markus; Vahtera, Jussi; Zins, Marie; Virtanen, Marianna (2018)
    Aims To estimate differences in the strength and shape of associations between alcohol use and diagnosis-specific sickness absence. Design A multi-cohort study. Participants (n = 47 520) responded to a survey on alcohol use at two time-points, and were linked to records of sickness absence. Diagnosis-specific sickness absence was followed for 4-7 years from the latter survey. Setting and participants From Finland, we had population cohort survey data from 1998 and 2003 and employee cohort survey data from 2000-02 and 2004. From France and the United Kingdom, we had employee cohort survey data from 1993 and 1997, and 1985-88 and 1991-94, respectively. Measurements We used standard questionnaires to assess alcohol intake categorized into 0, 1-11 and > 11 units per week in women and 0, 1-34 and > 34 units per week in men. We identified groups with stable and changing alcohol use over time. We linked participants to records from sickness absence registers. Diagnoses of sickness absence were coded according to the International Classification of Diseases. Estimates were adjusted for sex, age, socio-economic status, smoking and body mass index. Findings Women who reported drinking 1-11 units and men who reported drinking 1-34 units of alcohol per week in both surveys were the reference group. Compared with them, women and men who reported no alcohol use in either survey had a higher risk of sickness absence due to mental disorders [rate ratio = 1.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.22-1.88], musculoskeletal disorders (1.22, 95% CI = 1.06-1.41), diseases of the digestive system (1.35, 95% CI = 1.02-1.77) and diseases of the respiratory system (1.49, 95% CI = 1.29-1.72). Women who reported alcohol consumption of > 11 weekly units and men who reported alcohol consumption of > 34 units per week in both surveys were at increased risk of absence due to injury or poisoning (1.44, 95% CI = 1.13-1.83). Conclusions In Finland, France and the United Kingdom, people who report not drinking any alcohol on two occasions several years apart appear to have a higher prevalence of sickness absence from work with chronic somatic and mental illness diagnoses than those drinking below a risk threshold of 11 units per week for women and 34 units per week for men. Persistent at-risk drinking in Finland, France and the United Kingdom appears to be related to increased absence due to injury or poisoning.