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Domains of cognitive function in early old age: which ones are predicted by pre-retirement psychosocial work characteristics?

Abstract : Background: Psychosocial work characteristics may predict cognitive functioning after retirement. However, little research has explored specific cognitive domains associated with psychosocial work environments. Our study tested whether exposure to job demands, job control, and their combination during working life predicted post-retirement performance on eight cognitive tests. Methods: We used data from French GAZEL cohort members who had undergone post-retirement cognitive testing (n=2,149). Psychosocial job characteristics were measured on average four years before retirement using Karasek’s Job Content Questionnaire (job demands, job control, demand-control combinations). We tested associations between these exposures and post-retirement performance on tests of executive function, visual-motor speed, psycho-motor speed, verbal memory, and verbal fluency using OLS regression. Results: Low job control during working life was negatively associated with executive function, psychomotor speed, phonemic fluency, and semantic fluency after retirement (p’s<.05) even after adjustment for demographics, socioeconomic status, health and social behaviours, and vascular risk factors. Both passive (low-demand, low-control) and high-strain (high-demand, low-control) jobs were associated with lower scores on phonemic and semantic fluency when compared to low-strain (low-demand, high-control) jobs. Conclusions: Low job control, in combination with both high and low job demands, is associated with post-retirement deficits in some, but not all, cognitive domains. In addition to work stress, associations between passive work and subsequent cognitive function may implicate lack of cognitive engagement at work as a risk factor for future cognitive difficulties.
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Contributor : Claudine Berr Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 11:44:02 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 1:58:09 PM



Erika Sabbath, Ross Andel, Marie Zins, Marcel Goldberg, Claudine Berr. Domains of cognitive function in early old age: which ones are predicted by pre-retirement psychosocial work characteristics?. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, BMJ Publishing Group, 2016, 73 (10), pp.640-7. ⟨10.1136/oemed-2015-103352⟩. ⟨inserm-01320670⟩



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