Little is known about the U-shaped relation between alcohol intake and health beyond findings related to cardiovascular disease. Medically certified sickness absence is a health indicator in which coronary heart disease is only a minor factor. To investigate the relation between alcohol intake and sickness absence, records regarding medically certified sick leaves from all causes were assessed for 4 years (1997-2000) in a cohort of 1,490 male and 4,952 female municipal employees in Finland. Hierarchical Poisson regression, adjusted for self-reported behavioral and biologic risk factors, psychosocial risk factors, and cardiovascular diseases, was used to estimate the rate ratios and their 95% confidence intervals, relating sickness absence to each level of alcohol consumption. For both men and women, a significant curvilinear trend was found between level of average weekly alcohol consumption and sickness absence. The rates of medically certified sickness absence were 1.2-fold higher (95% confidence interval: 1.1, 1.3) for never, former, and heavy drinkers compared with light drinkers. The U-shaped relation between alcohol intake and health is not likely to be explained by confounding due to psychosocial differences or inclusion of former drinkers in the nondrinkers category. Moderate alcohol consumption also may reduce health problems other than cardiovascular disease.
The aim of the study is to examine the risk of sickness absence in public sector employees with allergic rhinitis or asthma or both conditions combined. This is a prospective cohort study of 48,296 Finnish public sector employees. Data from self-reported rhinitis and asthma were obtained from survey responses given during either the 2000-2002 or 2004 periods. Follow-up data on sickness absences for the public sector employees surveyed were acquired from records kept by the employers. During the follow-up, mean sick leave days per year for respondents were 17.6 days for rhinitis alone, 23.8 days for asthma alone and 24.2 days for both conditions combined. Respondents with neither condition were absent for a mean of 14.5 days annually. The impact of asthma and rhinitis combined on the risk of sick leave days was marginal compared to asthma alone (RR 1.1; 95% CI 1.0-1.3). In the subgroup analysis (those with current asthma or allergy medication), the risk ratio for medically certified sickness absence (>3 days) was 2.0 (95% CI 1.9-2.2) for those with asthma and rhinitis combined. Rhinitis, asthma and both these conditions combined increased the risk of days off work.
To study the allocation of rehabilitation measures provided by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution in relation to the characteristics and health status of rehabilitants.
A register linkage study.
A total of 67,106 full-time local government employees with a minimum of 10-month job contracts in 10 Finnish towns during the period 1994-2002.
Data on the rehabilitation granted between 1994 and 2002, special medication reimbursements for chronic diseases, and disability retirement, were derived from the registers of the Social Insurance Institution as an indicator of chronic morbidity and linked to the employers' records on demographic characteristics and rates of sickness absence.
In comparison with non-rehabilitants, the rate of sickness absence (> 21 days) was 2.2-2.9-fold (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0-3.0) higher, the odds ratios of special medication reimbursement 1.5-6.1-fold (95% CI 1.3-6.9) higher and disability retirement 3.1-7.5-fold (95% CI 2.7-9.3) higher among rehabilitants. Older women and employees in manual or lower-grade non-manual jobs predominated in the rehabilitation groups. The proportion of temporary employees receiving rehabilitation was low.
Permanently employed older women with an excess burden of health problems predominate in the receipt of rehabilitation provided by the Social Insurance Institution.
To examine antidepressant use before and after the diagnosis of diabetes.
This study was a longitudinal analysis of diabetic and nondiabetic groups selected from a prospective cohort study of 151,618 men and women in Finland (the Finnish Public Sector Study, 1995-2005). We analyzed the use of antidepressants in those 493 individuals who developed type 2 diabetes and their 2,450 matched nondiabetic control subjects for each year during a period covering 4 years before and 4 years after the diagnosis. For comparison, we undertook a corresponding analysis on 748 individuals who developed cancer and their 3,730 matched control subjects.
In multilevel longitudinal models, the odds ratio for antidepressant use in those who developed diabetes was 2.00 (95% CI 1.57-2.55) times greater than that in nondiabetic subjects. The relative difference in antidepressant use between these groups was similar before and after the diabetes diagnosis except for a temporary peak in antidepressant use at the year of the diagnosis (OR 2.66 [95% CI 1.94-3.65]). In incident cancer case subjects, antidepressant use substantially increased after the cancer diagnosis, demonstrating that our analysis was sensitive for detecting long-term changes in antidepressant trajectories when they existed.
Awareness of the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may temporarily increase the risk of depressive symptoms. Further research is needed to determine whether more prevalent use of antidepressants noted before the diagnosis of diabetes relates to effects of depression, side effects of antidepressant use, or a common causal pathway for depression and diabetes.
Reduced availability of tobacco outlets is hypothesized to reduce smoking, but longitudinal evidence on this issue is scarce.
To examine whether changes in distance from home to tobacco outlet are associated with changes in smoking behaviors.
The data from 2 prospective cohort studies included geocoded residential addresses, addresses of tobacco outlets, and responses to smoking surveys in 2008 and 2012 (the Finnish Public Sector [FPS] study, n?=?53?755) or 2003 and 2012 (the Health and Social Support [HeSSup] study, n?=?11?924). All participants were smokers or ex-smokers at baseline. We used logistic regression in between-individual analyses and conditional logistic regression in case-crossover design analyses to examine change in walking distance from home to the nearest tobacco outlet as a predictor of quitting smoking in smokers and smoking relapse in ex-smokers. Study-specific estimates were pooled using fixed-effect meta-analysis.
Walking distance from home to the nearest tobacco outlet.
Quitting smoking and smoking relapse as indicated by self-reported current and previous smoking at baseline and follow-up.
Overall, 20?729 men and women (age range 18-75 years) were recruited. Of the 6259 and 2090 baseline current smokers, 1744 (28%) and 818 (39%) quit, and of the 8959 and 3421 baseline ex-smokers, 617 (7%) and 205 (6%) relapsed in the FPS and HeSSup studies, respectively. Among the baseline smokers, a 500-m increase in distance from home to the nearest tobacco outlet was associated with a 16% increase in odds of quitting smoking in the between-individual analysis (pooled odds ratio, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.05-1.28) and 57% increase in within-individual analysis (pooled odds ratio, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.32-1.86), after adjusting for changes in self-reported marital and working status, substantial worsening of financial situation, illness in the family, and own health status. Increase in distance to the nearest tobacco outlet was not associated with smoking relapse among the ex-smokers.
These data suggest that increase in distance from home to the nearest tobacco outlet may increase quitting among smokers. No effect of change in distance on relapse in ex-smokers was observed.
To examine the association between work stress and cognitive performance.
Cognitive performance of a total of 99 women (mean age = 47.3 years) working in hospital wards at either the top or bottom quartiles of job strain was assessed using validated tests that measured learning, short-term memory, and speed of memory retrieval.
The high job strain group (n = 43) had lower performance than the low job strain group (n = 56) in learning (P = 0.025), short-term memory (P = 0.027), and speed of memory retrieval (P = 0.003). After controlling for education level, only the difference in speed of memory retrieval remained statistically significant (P = 0.010).
The association found between job strain and speed of memory retrieval might be one important factor explaining the effect of stress on work performance.
We examined the associations of contractual job insecurity (fixed-term vs permanent employment contract) and subjectively assessed job insecurity with sickness presenteeism among those who had no sickness absences during the study year.
Survey data from a sample of 18,454 Public sector employees were gathered in 2004 (the Finnish Public Sector study).
Fixed-term employees were less likely to report working while ill (odds ratio = 0.88, 95% confidence interval = 0.77 to 0.99) than permanent employees. Subjective insecurity was associated with higher levels of working while ill, and this association was stronger among older employees. These results remained after adjustments for demographics, health-related variables, and optimism.
Our results suggest that subjective job insecurity might be even more important than contractual insecurity when a public sector employee makes the decision to go to work despite feeling ill.
Mental ill-health, particularly depression and anxiety, is a leading and increasing cause of disability worldwide, especially for women.
We examined the prospective association between physical activity and symptoms of mental ill-health in younger, mid-life and older working women. Participants were 26 913 women from the ongoing cohort Finnish Public Sector Study with complete data at two phases, excluding those who screened positive for mental ill-health at baseline. Mental health was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. Self-reported physical activity was expressed in metabolic equivalent task (MET) hours per week. Logistic regression models were used to analyse associations between physical activity levels and subsequent mental health.
There was an inverse dose-response relationship between physical activity and future symptoms of mental ill-health. This association is consistent with a protective effect of physical activity and remained after adjustments for socio-demographic, work-related and lifestyle factors, health and body mass index. Furthermore, those mid-life and older women who reported increased physical activity by more than 2 MET hours per week demonstrated a reduced risk of later mental ill-health in comparison with those who did not increase physical activity. This protective effect of increased physical activity did not hold for younger women.
This study adds to the evidence for the protective effect of physical activity for later mental health in women. It also suggests that increasing physical activity levels may be beneficial in terms of mental health among mid-life and older women. The alleviation of menopausal symptoms may partly explain age effects but further research is required.
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The aim of this study was to examine whether vandalism, bullying, and truancy among pupils at school are associated with absence due to illness among teachers. Data on such problem behaviour of 17,033 pupils in 90 schools were linked to absence records of 2364 teachers. Pupil reported vandalism and bullying at the school-level were associated with teachers' short-term (1- to 3-day) absences. Cumulative exposure to various forms of pupils' problem behaviour was associated with even higher rates of short-term absences among teachers. No association was found between pupils' problem behaviour and teachers' long-term (>3-day) absences. In conclusion, there seems to be a link between pupils' problem behaviour and teachers' short-term absence due to illness. Further work should determine whether problem behaviour is a cause or a consequence of absences or whether the association is noncausal.
Associations between traffic noise and sleep problems have been detected in experimental studies, but population-level evidence is scarce.
We studied the relationship between the levels of nighttime traffic noise and sleep disturbances and identified vulnerable population groups.
Noise levels of nighttime-outdoor traffic were modeled based on the traffic intensities in the cities of Helsinki and Vantaa, Finland. In these cities, 7,019 public sector employees (81% women) responded to postal surveys on sleep and health. We linked modeled outdoor noise levels to the residences of the employees who responded to the postal survey. We used logistic regression models to estimate associations of noise levels with subjectively assessed duration of sleep and symptoms of insomnia (i.e., difficulties falling asleep, waking up frequently during the night, waking up too early in the morning, nonrestorative sleep). We also used stratified models to investigate the possibility of vulnerable subgroups.
For the total study population, exposure to levels of nighttime-outside (L(night, outside)) traffic noise > 55 dB was associated with any insomnia symptom = 2 nights per week [odds ratio (OR) = 1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.05, 1.65]. Among participants with higher trait anxiety scores, which we hypothesized were a proxy for noise sensitivity, the ORs for any insomnia symptom at exposures to L(night, outside) traffic noises 50.1-55 dB and > 55 dB versus = 45 dB were 1.34 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.80) and 1.61 (95% CI: 1.07, 2.42), respectively.
Nighttime traffic noise levels > 50 dB L(night, outside) was associated with insomnia symptoms among persons with higher scores for trait anxiety. For the total study population, L(night, outside) > 55 dB was positively associated with any symptoms.
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 2010 Oct 1;408(21):4935-4220708214