Introduction Previous studies have found that several factors are associated with early retirement among older workers. Given the high prevalence of chronic diseases among older workers the aims of this study were to explore:
the determinants of early retirement among older workers with and without chronic diseases, and
whether these determinants differed between workers with and without chronic diseases.
Methods Danish workers aged 56–64 years, who were member of the early retirement scheme were selected from the Danish National Working Environment Survey, and were followed in a public register for four years. Cox-regression analyses were performed separately for those with and without chronic diseases to determine the associations between the determinants (health, work-related, and social factors) and early retirement. To explore differences, an interaction term between the determinant and having a chronic disease was included among the analyses on the total population.
Result Among workers with chronic diseases, poor health (HR 2.15; 95% CI: 1.37 to 3.37), more depressive symptoms (1.01; 1.00–1.03), high physical workload (1.84; 1.37–2.48), low job satisfaction (3.08; 2.09–4.55), low influence at work (1.94; 1.36–2.77), and work-family conflict (1.01; 1.00–1.01) were associated with early retirement. Among those without chronic diseases, poor health (2.56; 1.27–5.16), more depressive symptoms (1.03; 1.01–1.05), high physical workload (2.09; 1.39–3.13), low job satisfaction (5.27; 2.96–9.40), low influence at work (1.69; 1.04–2.75), and poor relationship with colleagues (2.81; 1.44–5.49) were associated with early retirement. None of the interactions were found to be statistically significant (p>0.05).
Discussion Prolonged work participation of older workers is a challenge for governments in high-income countries. The findings from this study indicate that determinants that might influence prolonged work participation among older workers are not distinct for those with and without chronic diseases. Interventions aiming at work participation until an older age might be the same for both groups.
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