Article Text


402 Does early retirement reduce the risk of myocardial infarction? A prospective registry linkage study of 617,511 Danish workers
  1. K O Olesen1,
  2. Rugulies2,
  3. Rod Hulvej3,
  4. Bonde1
  1. 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen NV, Denmark
  2. 2National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhage, Copenhagen, Denmark


Objectives Demographic changes throughout the industrialised world will increase the proportions of retired individuals relative to the active workforce in the coming decades. This will put a substantial financial strain on the economy. Recent studies suggested that early retirement may have beneficial effects on health outcomes. In this study we examined if the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) was reduced following retirement in a Danish population sample.

Methods Participants were 617,511 Danish workers, born between 1932 and 1948 entering the study at the age of 60, without previous known incidents of MI or ischemic heart disease. Information on retirement and MI were obtained from Danish national registers. The participants were followed-up from the week they turned 60 years until event (incident MI) or censuring due to death to causes other than MI, migration, absence from the labour market of more than 26 weeks, or end of 8 years of follow up, whichever came first. We used Cox proportional hazard model to address the relation between retirement and onset of MI, while adjusting for age, sex, income, job-group, education, cohabitation and ethnicity.

Results Three per cent of the population was diagnosed with MI during follow up. Retirement was associated with a modestly increased risk of MI (OR = 1.11; 95% CI = 1.06 to 1.16) when comparing retired workers with active workers of the same age. Further analyses stratified by covariates yielded similar results.

Conclusions This study does not support the hypothesis that early retirement reduces risk of MI. On the contrary, we found that retirement was associated with a modestly increased risk of MI.

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