Objectives: To describe the health status and risk indicator trends in a representative sample of US health care workers aged 45 years and older.
Methods: Using pooled data from the 1997 to 2009 National Health Interview Survey, logistic regression analyses were performed to determine whether age-group specific morbidity risks differed within occupational subgroups of the health care workforce (N = 6509). Health and morbidity trends were examined via complex survey adjusted and weighted chi-squared tests.
Results: Rates of functional limitation and hypertension increased among diagnosing/assessing health care workers. The prevalence of hearing impairment, cancer, and hypertension was two to three times greater in health-diagnosing/assessing workers aged 60 years and older than in younger workers. Health care service workers were up to 19 times more likely to be obese than workers who diagnose/assess health.
Conclusions: Healthier workplaces and targeted interventions are needed to optimize the ability to meet health care demands of this aging workforce.