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Social Relations at Work and Incident Dementia: 29-Years’ Follow-Up of the Copenhagen Male Study

Ishtiak-Ahmed Kazi MMSc; Hansen, Åse Marie PhD; Garde, Anne Helene PhD; Mortensen, Erik Lykke MSc; Gyntelberg, Finn DMSc; Phung, Thien Kieu Thi PhD; Lund, Rikke DMSc; Rod, Naja Hulvej DMSc; Prescott, Eva DMSc; Waldemar, Gunhild DMSc; Westendorp, Rudi PhD; Nabe-Nielsen, Kirsten PhD
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: Post Author Corrections: September 20, 2017
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001158
Original Article: PDF Only


We investigated whether social relations at work were associated with incident dementia in old age.


One thousand five hundred seventy-two occupationally active men from the Copenhagen Male Study Cohort were followed from 1986 to 2014. Participants underwent a clinical examination at baseline and answered questionnaires on whether they (1) had possibilities to be in contact with coworkers, (2) could get along with coworkers, and (3) were satisfied with supervisor. Poisson regression was used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRR).


Two hundred forty five (15.6%) men were diagnosed with dementia during an average of 15.8 years of follow-up. After adjusting for potential confounders, limited contact with coworkers was associated with a higher risk of dementia (IRR = 2.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14 to 5.44), but the other two measures were not.


Our data partially support that social relations at work are associated with incident dementia.

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Address correspondence to: Kazi Ishtiak-Ahmed, MMSc, Section of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen Øster Farimagsgade 5, Postbox 2099, 1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark (

Funding: The study was a part of a PhD project that is funded by The Danish Working Environment Research Fund, grant number (10-2015-03 20150017498). The funder had no role in the writing of the paper, analysis of data, interpretation of the results or influence on the conclusion. The funder had no role in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Authors’ contribution: Ishtiak-Ahmed, Hansen, Garde, Gyntelberg, and Nabe-Nielsen contributed to the core idea and study design. Ishtiak-Ahmed carried out the data analyses and drafted the manuscript. All co-authors critically read and commented on successive drafts of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

The authors declare no conflicts of interests.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine