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WORK STRESS AND DEMENTIA
Dementia seems to be positively associated with living alone, having no social ties, never having married, and psychosocial and physical inactivity decades before diagnosis. One previous case-control study suggests that social relations and activity in mid-life may protect against the later onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Seidler et al (p. 962) have taken the hypothesis one stage further by investigating whether occupational psychosocial factors play a part in the aetiology of dementia. Some 229 cases of dementia were recruited from clinics around Frankfurt-on-Main and compared with population and clinic controls in normal mental health. A structured interview was used to establish work history, and jobs were classified using a job exposure matrix for their demand and control opportunities. Decreased odds ratios were found for jobs classified as being challenging or involving high social demands, whereas a higher odds ratio was found for jobs with …
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