Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Young Adults, Mortality, and Employment

Davila, Evelyn P. PhD; Christ, Sharon L. PhD; Caban-Martinez, Alberto J. MPH; Lee, David J. PhD; Arheart, Kristopher L. EdD; LeBlanc, William G. PhD; McCollister, Kathryn E. PhD; Clarke, Tainya MPH; Zimmerman, Frederick PhD; Goodman, Elizabeth MD, PhD; Muntaner, Carles MD, PhD; Fleming, Lora E. MD, PhD, MPH, MSc

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 5 - p 501-504
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d5e371
Original Articles

Objective: This study assessed the relationship between employment status and mortality over a 2-year period among a nationally representative sample of young adults aged 18 to 24 years (n = 121,478, representing more than 21 million US young adults).

Methods: By using data from the 1986–2000 National Health Interview Survey and its public-use mortality follow-up through 2002, mortality after 2-year follow-up (for each individual) was regressed on employment status at baseline, controlling for gender, race, education, season, and survey design.

Results: Having been employed was associated with significantly lower risks of all-cause, homicide, and “other-cause” mortality (adjusted odds ratios range: 0.51 to 0.60).

Conclusion: Working appears to be a factor that may prevent premature mortality among young adults; increasing unemployment may result in increased mortality risks among young adults in the future.

From the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (Dr Davila, Mr Caban-Martinez, Dr Lee, Dr Arheart, Dr LeBlanc, Dr McCollister, Ms Clarke, Dr Fleming), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Fla; Odum Institute for Research in Social Science (Dr Christ), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; School of Public Health (Dr Zimmerman), University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif; Department of Pediatrics (Dr Goodman), Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Mass; and University of Toronto Center for Addiction and Mental Health (Dr Muntaner), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Address correspondence to: Lora E. Fleming, MD, PhD, MPH, MSc, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami School of Medicine, 1120 NW 14th Ave, Clinical Research Building, Room 1049 (R 669), Miami, FL 33136; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine