Increased mortality from ischaemic heart disease (IHD) has been found in previous studies among divorced, widowed, and unskilled middle-aged Finnish men. In this study all cases of IHD in men aged 40-64 during 1972 were analysed by linking death certificates and hospital records (7499 cases with 3136 deaths). Age-adjusted incidence, mortality, and survival rates of the first and third year were calculated by marital status and social class. The highest mortality rate was found among unskilled workers, the highest incidence among widowers and those in the lower professional classes, and the lowest survival rate among divorcees, single persons, and unskilled workers. The ratio of mortality by marital status (1.77) was in part due to survival (ratio 1.44) and in part due to incidence (ratio 1.32). The ratio of mortality by social class (1.44) seemed to be due more to differences in incidence (ratio 1.36) than to differences in survival (ratio 1.18). The distribution of conventional risk factors of IHD by marital status and social class seems to explain only part of the mortality differences.
This 6-year follow-up study investigates the impact of interpersonal conflict at work on work disability among 8,021 male and 7,327 female employees aged 24 to 65 years at baseline. Marital status, marital conflict, monotonous work, hectic work pace, hostility, neuroticism, life dissatisfaction, and experienced stress of daily activities were included in survival analyses, which were adjusted for age, social status, and general health status. Interpersonal conflict at work predicted work disability only among women (RR 1.56, CL 1.01-2.39). This risk was confined to women who reported simultaneous marital conflicts (RR 2.54, CL 1.03-6.22). When included in further analyses, life dissatisfaction was a significant risk factor among both genders, but monotonous work, neuroticism, and experienced stress of daily activities were risk factors only among men. These data suggest that interpersonal conflict could be a determinant of work disability, and this indicates the importance of gender and marital factors.
In this paper a study of the distribution of mortality rates by social class and marital status for men and women in three age groups (25--44, 45--64 and 65--84) is presented. Natural and violent causes of death are analysed separately. The death certificates of Finnish citizens for the years 1969, 1970 and 1971 (totalling 137780) were analysed and mortality rates standarized using as reference population the data from the 1970 census. It is shown that certain combinations of social class and marital status can be considered as significant risk factors for mortality in the Finnish population.
The effect of social factors on the male/female difference in mortality in Finland was studied by comparing age-adjusted mortality of males and females by social class and marital status. 44,548 death certificates (years 1969-1971) and 1970 census data for 25-64-years olds were analysed. The gender difference was 2.8-fold: 5.3-fold for violent causes and 2.3-fold for natural causes. The greatest gender difference from violent causes was found in accidental poisonings (18.7-fold) and drownings (12.8-fold), and from natural causes in mental disorders (mainly alcoholism; 5.7-fold) and in ischemic heart disease (4.5-fold). The gender difference was most prominent in unskilled workers, divorced and widowed and less prominent in married and upper professionals. The great variation of gender difference of mortality by social class and marital status seems to indicate that mortality difference between males and females is associated to external factors rather than biological differences between men and women. This conclusion is also supported by the progressive increase of gender difference of mortality from 1.4 to 2.8 during the last 80 years in working-aged Finns.
The use of tranquilizers, hypnotics, and analgesics was assessed by a postal questionnaire in a nationwide sample of 18,592 adults aged from 24 to 65 years: 14,800 employees, 2105 housewives and 687 unemployed persons. The use of tranquilizers was most frequent among unemployed persons whereas housewives did not use the studied medicines more than the employed women. In the multivariate analyses (adjusted for age, social class and neuroticism) unmarried status was associated with the use of tranquilizers and hypnotics among both genders. Reported recent interpersonal conflicts both at work and with a spouse were associated with the use of tranquilizers among men, whereas among women significant associations were found only for conflicts with a spouse. These results indicate that domestic factors are more likely to predict women's tranquilizer use.