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O17-5 Is the nature of work done in midlife a risk factor of musculoskeletal disorders in later life? study of a cohort followed up for 28 years?
  1. KC Prakash1,
  2. Subas Neupane1,
  3. Päivi Leino-Arjas2,
  4. Clas-Håkan Nygård1
  1. 1University of Tampere, School of Health Sciences, Tampere, Finland
  2. 2Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland


Aims We investigated how the nature of work predicts musculoskeletal disorder (MSDs) in a 28-year follow-up.

Methods In total 6257 people aged 44–58 years participated in the Finnish study of Municipal Employees (FLAME) in 1981 and were followed up for the next 28 years in 5 different waves. For this study, 2 waves: early retirement (1992, N = 4534) and very old age (2009, N = 3093) were used. Nature of work done in midlife was classified and used as mental, mixed (physical and mental) and physical according to type of exposures. We have used 3 types of MSDs namely degenerative disorder, back disorder and osteoarthritis of limb joints which were diagnosed by physician. Log-binomial regression with a log link was used to model gender stratified risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI).

Results Adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol use, BMI and physical exercise, in early retirement period women in physical works had a higher risk of all 3 disorders and the risk being highest in osteoarthritis (RR 1.53, 95% CI: 1.32–1.78) and those in mental works had a higher risk of degenerative and back disorders compared to those who did mental works in midlife. Whereas, both mixed and physical works carried an increased risk of all 3 disorders among men (1.72, 1.37–2.16 for osteoarthritis for those in physical works). In a very old age, women in both mixed and physical works at midlife had significantly higher risk of all 3 disorders (1.38, 1.16–1.65 for back disorder due to physical) but among men only those in physical works carried a higher risk of back disorder (1.31, 1.02–1.71).

Conclusions Nature of work done in midlife predicts the musculoskeletal health during the early retirement period and a very old age, with women being at higher risk at old age compared to men.

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