To determine the effect of job insecurity based on repeated measurements on ischemic heart disease (IHD) and on antihypertensive medication.
The study population consists of 12,559 employees aged 18-59 years of the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study. With an open cohort design, data from up to four representative waves were linked to four registers. Poisson regression with time-dependent covariates was used to estimate the rate ratio (RR) with confidence interval (CI) of perceived job insecurity associated with first-time IHD hospitalization or mortality 1991-2010 (n = 561 cases) and incident dispensing of prescribed antihypertensive medications 1996-2010 (n = 2,402 cases).
Participants with perceived job insecurity filled more antihypertensive prescriptions (age-, gender-, and calendar year-adjusted RR 1.23, 95 % CI 1.12-1.33) and had a borderline significant higher IHD incidence (RR 1.23, 95 % CI 0.98-1.55). In a subanalysis, the risk of antihypertensive medication dispensed was only significant among employees with worries about both unemployment and poor reemployment opportunities. After explorative stratifications by age, gender, and occupational status, perceived job insecurity was associated with more dispensing of antihypertensive medications to participants less than 50 years of age.
In a country with high social security and active labor market policy, employees with the feeling of an insecure job have a modestly increased risk to fill an antihypertensive prescription. Further studies on health risks of job insecurity should consider improved exposure assessment, earlier outcomes such as medication in order to increase statistical power, and identification of vulnerable population groups.
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