In that previous studies have suggested that poor work capacity in midlife correlates with increased risks of disease and subsequent early retirement from the workforce, Mikaela von Bonsdorff, from the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), and colleague explored the role of work ability among white-collar and blue-collar middle-aged employees as a predictor of risks of death and disability 28 years later. In 1981, a total of 5,971 workers, ages 44 to 58 years, reported on their perceived work ability as enrollees in the Finnish Longitudinal Study of Municipal Employees (FLAME) study. By 2009, 1,918 subjects had died, and the ability to perform daily activities was assessed among 2,879 respondents. The team found that work ability in midlife predicted decline in health and functioning among men and women during the 28-year follow-up even after adjustments for health and lifestyle factors. The risks showed similar gradients among blue- and white-collar employees, but the risk of death was generally higher among blue-collar employees. The researchers conclude hat: “Perceived poor work ability in midlife was associated with accelerated deterioration in health and functioning and remains evident after 28 years of follow-up.”
Mikaela B. von Bonsdorff, Jorma Seitsamo, Juhani Ilmarinen, Clas-Hakan Nygard, Monika E. von Bonsdorff, Taina Rantanen. “Work ability in midlife as a predictor of mortality and disability in later life: a 28-year prospective follow-up study.” Can. Med. Assoc. J., Jan 2011; doi:10.1503/cmaj.100713.
US CDC reports that 26 million Americans have diabetes, and 79 million -- one-third of the nation’s adult population – has prediabetes.
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