To evaluate whether confounding by several known or suspected coronary heart disease risk factors are likely to explain the lower coronary heart disease risk among light alcohol drinkers compared with never-drinkers.
A population-based cross-sectional study.
Hypertension, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, depression, sleep disturbances, smoking, physical activity, life satisfaction, psychological distress, trait anxiety, independent and dependent life events, length of working hours, job control, job strain and effort-reward imbalance were compared between never-drinkers and light drinkers (
Previous studies have not distinguished between different alcohol-use histories, which could have contributed to the current inconsistent evidence regarding the relationship between alcohol use and subsequent sickness absence. We thus examined alcohol use and subsequent diagnosis-specific sickness absence in groups with different levels of alcohol use, as well as in lifelong abstainers, former drinkers, and people with clinical alcohol use disorders.
The data of the population-based Health 2000 Survey (BRIF8901) of 3666 Finns aged 30-55 were linked with national registers on medically certified sickness absences lasting for >?10 working days (long-term) for all causes (2000?-?2010) and for mental or musculoskeletal disorders (2004-2010), as well as with registers on pensions and death (2000-2010). Alcohol use was assessed by questionnaire. Chronic somatic diseases were evaluated at baseline in a clinical examination, and common mental and alcohol use disorders using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Cox regression analyses were conducted with censoring for death and retirement from work.
During an average 10-year follow-up, 56.0% of the participants had at least one long-term sickness absence period. Compared with light drinkers, those having an alcohol use disorder had increased risk of all-cause sickness absence (HR?=?1.27; 95% CI?=?1.04?-?1.54) and sickness absence due to mental disorders (HR?=?2.16; 95% CI?=?1.39?-?3.35), when somatic and mental disorders as well as demographic, lifestyle-related and occupational factors at baseline were accounted for. Lifelong abstainers did not differ from light drinkers. Also high-volume drinking (HR?=?1.52; 95% CI 1.03?-?2.25) and former drinking (HR?=?1.57; 95% CI?=?1.15?-?2.15) were associated with long-term sickness absence due to mental disorders. Alcohol use was not predictive of sickness absence due to musculoskeletal disorders.
These results highlight the need to distinguish between former drinking and lifelong abstinence, as only former drinking was associated with sickness absence. Alcohol use disorder and high-volume drinking were strongly predictive of sickness absence due to mental disorders. Identifying people with excessive alcohol use e.g. in occupational health care, and mapping and supporting their mental health may help in preventing sickness absences.
Cites: Drug Alcohol Rev. 2016 Mar;35(2):158-69 PMID 26331574
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.
Socioeconomic disadvantage is a risk factor for many diseases. We characterised cascades of these conditions by using a data-driven approach to examine the association between socioeconomic status and temporal sequences in the development of 56 common diseases and health conditions.
In this multi-cohort study, we used data from two Finnish prospective cohort studies: the Health and Social Support study and the Finnish Public Sector study. Our pooled prospective primary analysis data comprised 109?246 Finnish adults aged 17-77 years at study entry. We captured socioeconomic status using area deprivation and education at baseline (1998-2013). Participants were followed up for health conditions diagnosed according to the WHO International Classification of Diseases until 2016 using linkage to national health records. We tested the generalisability of our findings with an independent UK cohort study-the Whitehall II study (9838 people, baseline in 1997, follow-up to 2017)-using a further socioeconomic status indicator, occupational position.
During 1?110?831 person-years at risk, we recorded 245?573 hospitalisations in the Finnish cohorts; the corresponding numbers in the UK study were 60?946 hospitalisations in 186?572 person-years. Across the three socioeconomic position indicators and after adjustment for lifestyle factors, compared with more advantaged groups, low socioeconomic status was associated with increased risk for 18 (32·1%) of the 56 conditions. 16 diseases formed a cascade of inter-related health conditions with a hazard ratio greater than 5. This sequence began with psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and self-harm, which were associated with later liver and renal diseases, ischaemic heart disease, cerebral infarction, chronic obstructive bronchitis, lung cancer, and dementia.
Our findings highlight the importance of mental health and behavioural problems in setting in motion the development of a range of socioeconomically patterned physical illnesses. Policy and health-care practice addressing psychological health issues in social context and early in the life course could be effective strategies for reducing health inequalities.
UK Medical Research Council, US National Institute on Aging, NordForsk, British Heart Foundation, Academy of Finland, and Helsinki Institute of Life Science.
CommentIn: Lancet Public Health. 2020 Mar;5(3):e127 PMID 32113514
Although artistic work is in transition, the occupational wellbeing of artists has been less studied than wellbeing among other workers. This study aimed to explore the relationship between work characteristics and occupational (psychosocial) wellbeing of artists.
A national questionnaire was sent to all artists (theatre artists, writers, and visual artists) reached by four major labor unions in Finland. Type of employment (permanent full-time work vs other), working field (own field of art vs other), regularity of working hours (regular vs irregular), and control of workload were assessed. The wellbeing outcomes were work engagement, recovery from work, and experience of stress and low mood.
Full-time permanent employment, regular working hours, and working in one's own field of art were positively associated with work engagement. Furthermore, regular working hours were positively associated with recovery and negatively associated with subjective report of low mood. Ability to control workload was positively associated with recovery and negatively associated with stress and low mood. Higher age was associated with lower stress and better recovery.
Artists with regular working hours, secure employment, ability to control workload, working in one's own field of art, and higher age reported better wellbeing in this study. The late stages of career appear to guarantee more stability and wellbeing than the more insecure beginning of a career.
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.
Social support is assumed to protect mental health, but it is not known whether low social support at work increases the risk of common mental disorders or antidepressant medication. This study, carried out in Finland 2000-2003, examined the associations of low social support at work and in private life with DSM-IV depressive and anxiety disorders and subsequent antidepressant medication.
Social support was measured with self-assessment scales in a cohort of 3429 employees from a population-based health survey. A 12-month prevalence of depressive or anxiety disorders was examined with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), which encompasses operationalized criteria for DSM-IV diagnoses and allows the estimation of DSM-IV diagnoses for major mental disorders. Purchases of antidepressants in a 3-year follow-up were collected from the nationwide pharmaceutical register of the Social Insurance Institution.
Low social support at work and in private life was associated with a 12-month prevalence of depressive or anxiety disorders (adjusted odds ratio 2.02, 95% CI 1.48-2.82 for supervisory support, 1.65, 95% CI 1.05-2.59 for colleague support, and 1.62, 95% CI 1.12-2.36 for private life support). Work-related social support was also associated with subsequent antidepressant use.
This study used a cross-sectional analysis of DSM-IV mental disorders. The use of purchases of antidepressant as an indicator of depressive and anxiety disorders can result in an underestimation of the actual mental disorders.
Low social support, both at work and in private life, is associated with DSM-IV mental disorders, and low social support at work is also a risk factor for mental disorders treated with antidepressant medication.
To investigate the associations of social support at work and in private life with sleeping problems and use of sleep medication.
In the nationwide Health 2000 Study, with a cohort of 3430 employees, social support at work and in private life, and sleep-related issues were assessed with self-assessment scales. Purchases of sleep medication over a 3-year period were collected from the nationwide pharmaceutical register of the Social Insurance Institution.
Low social support from supervisor was associated with tiredness (odds ratio [OR] 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.26 to 2.23) and sleeping difficulties within the previous month (OR 1.74, 95% CI = 1.41 to 1.92). Low support from coworkers was associated with tiredness (OR 1.55, 95% CI = 1.41 to 1.92), sleeping difficulties within the previous month (OR 1.77, 95% CI = 1.32 to 2.36), and only among women, with short sleep duration (OR 2.06, 95% CI = 1.22 to 3.47). Low private life support was associated with short sleep duration (OR 1.49, 95% CI = 1.13 to 1.98) and among women, with sleeping difficulties (OR 1.46, 95% CI = 1.08 to 1.33).
Low social support, especially at work, is associated with sleeping-related problems.