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Retirement age and type as predictors of frailty: a retrospective cohort study of older businessmen
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  • Published on:
    Author response to Prof. Kawada
    • Markus Haapanen, Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care University of Helsinki

    We thank Professor Kawada for the interest in our paper. We very much agree with the points raised.

    The material of the present study (1) consists of men who had served in managerial positions in the fields of industry and commerce, or as entrepreneurs. They provided self-assessed stressfulness ratings of their entire work careers. The findings showed protective effects of less stress on decreased risk of pre-frailty relative to non-frailty. While we are aware that this does not replace information on psychosocial working conditions, it may help us understand that both circumstances during the working career and retirement jointly contribute to the health of retirees. Kalousova et al. found this particularly true in the baseline category ‘low reward’ of psychosocial working conditions (2). Also a disadvantaged group, as Professor Kawada shows, were manual workers, who were at increased risk of adverse employment outcomes relative to other occupational groups (3). This is important policy-wise, and though the present study included a more homogenous group representing higher occupational and socioeconomic groups, it shows that even in such groups differences in frailty may stem from factors around the working career and retirement. Relevant to this group of men with managerial/professional occupational backgrounds, Schütte et al. found that both low job promotion and high insecurity at work contributed to poorer psychological well-being in a study capturing 34 Europe...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    I am the First and corresponding author on the publication.
  • Published on:
    RE: Retirement age and type as predictors of frailty: a retrospective cohort study of older businessmen

    Haapanen et al. investigated the association between retirement characteristics and frailty of older businessmen (1). The adjusted OR of men who retired at ages of 58-69 years compared with men who retired before 55 years old for frailty significantly decreased. In addition, the adjusted ORs (95% CIs) of men who retired due to disability for pre-frailty and frailty were 1.53 (1.01-2.32) and 3.52 (1.97-6.29), respectively. Exiting working life early and continuing work until age of 70 years and older were both significantly associated with increased risk of frailty. They presented U-shaped relationship and there was a difference in the magnitude of OR between pre-frailty and frailty in men who retired due to disability. I present information about their study with special reference to employment status and outcomes.

    Kalousova et al. examined the association between psychosocial working conditions and frailty in later life (2). Low reward, high effort, effort to reward ratio, and effort to control ratio were all significant predictors of increasing frailty. In addition, Non-retired workers with low-reward jobs experienced the largest increases in frailty at follow-up. They considered that retirement might protect frailty in older workers with low reward jobs. Applying job-stress model to frailty in older workers is also important for keeping quality of life in later life.

    Palmer et al. examined the association between frailty and employment difficulties in work...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.