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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2012 Jul;67(4):471-80. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbs045. Epub 2012 Apr 29.

Long-term effects of psychosocial work stress in midlife on health functioning after labor market exit--results from the GAZEL study.

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  • 1Department of Medical Sociology, University of Duesseldorf, Germany.



To study long-term effects of psychosocial work stress in mid-life on health functioning after labor market exit using two established work stress models.


In the frame of the prospective French Gazel cohort study, data on psychosocial work stress were assessed using the full questionnaires measuring the demand-control-support model (in 1997 and 1999) and the effort-reward imbalance model (in 1998). In 2007, health functioning was assessed, using the Short Form 36 mental and physical component scores. Multivariate regressions were calculated to predict health functioning in 2007, controlling for age, gender, social position, and baseline self-perceived health.


Consistent effects of both work stress models and their single components on mental and physical health functioning during retirement were observed. Effects remained significant after adjustment including baseline self-perceived health. Whereas the predictive power of both work stress models was similar in the case of the physical composite score, in the case of the mental health score, values of model fit were slightly higher for the effort-reward imbalance model (R(2): 0.13) compared with the demand-control model (R²: 0.11).


Findings underline the importance of working conditions in midlife not only for health in midlife but also for health functioning after labor market exit.

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