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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182122286
Original Articles

Chronic Diseases and Functional Limitations Among Older Construction Workers in the United States: A 10-Year Follow-up Study

Dong, Xiuwen Sue DrPH; Wang, Xuanwen PhD; Daw, Christina PhD; Ringen, Knut DrPH

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Objectives: To examine the health status of older construction workers in the United States, and how occupation and the aging process affect health in workers' later years.

Methods: We analyzed six waves (1998 to 2008) of the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal survey of US residents age 50+. The study sample totaled 7200 male workers (510 in construction trades) in the baseline. Multiple logistic regression and paired t tests were conducted to compare health outcomes across occupations and within individuals over time.

Results: Compared with white-collar workers, construction workers had increased odds of arthritis, back problems, chronic lung disease, functional limitations, work disability, and work-related injuries after controlling for possible confounders.

Conclusions: Safety and health interventions, as well as retirement and pension policy, should meet the needs of older construction workers, who face increasingly chronic health conditions over time.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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