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Components of job control and mortality: the Finnish Public Sector Study
  1. Matti Joensuu1,
  2. Mika Kivimäki1,2,3,
  3. Jaana Pentti1,
  4. Marianna Virtanen1,
  5. Ari Väänänen1,
  6. Jussi Vahtera1,4
  1. 1Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Matti Joensuu, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, Helsinki FI-00250, Finland; matti.joensuu{at}


Objectives Recent research from industrial employees suggests the components of job control might be differently associated with mortality; high skill discretion with lower but high decision authority with higher mortality. This observation has not been confirmed in other cohorts.

Methods The purpose of this study is to further examine the association of skill discretion and decision authority with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in an independent cohort of 60 202 public sector employees from the Finnish Public Sector study by stratifying analyses by sex and socioeconomic status.

Results High skill discretion and high decision authority were associated with lower all-cause mortality rates in white-collar women. By contrast, high decision authority was associated with higher all-cause mortality rates in blue-collar women. No robust association between skill discretion, decision authority and mortality was observed among men. There were no robust associations with cause-specific mortality rates.

Conclusions These results suggest that the associations between components of job control and mortality are mixed and may vary depending on sex and socioeconomic status.

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