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PLoS One. 2017 Jun 1;12(6):e0178395. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178395. eCollection 2017.

Cardiovascular health status between standard and nonstandard workers in Korea.

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Department of Family Medicine & Department of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.
National Cancer Center, Goyang, South Korea.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea.
Chungha Geriatric Hospital, GyeongJu, South Korea.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Seoul National University Graduate School, 103 Daehakro, Jongro-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
Department of Social and Behavioral Science, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.
Department of Global and Population Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, United States of America.



The effect of employment insecurity on employee health is an important public health issue due to the recent effects of neoliberalism and the global financial crisis (2007-2008) on labor markets. This study aims to evaluate the differences in cardiovascular health status and the use of preventive screening services between standard and nonstandard workers.


Waged employees (N = 5,338) between the ages of 20 and 64 were grouped into standard (full-time, permanent) and nonstandard (part-time, temporary, or daily) employees. Data from the Fourth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007-2009, a nationwide representative survey, were examined, including cardiovascular health risk behaviors (tobacco, alcohol, physical inactivity), measured morbidities (blood pressure, blood glucose level, lipid profiles, body mass index), and the use of screening services for hypertension and diabetes mellitus.


Female nonstandard employees tended to have higher blood pressure than did female standard employees (adjusted odds ratio, aOR 1.42, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.02 to 1.98). However, nonstandard employees (both men and women) were less likely to use preventive screening services for hypertension (aOR 0.72, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.94 in men; aOR 0.56, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.73 in women) and diabetes (aOR 0.58, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.79 in men; aOR 0.55, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.71 in women).


Nonstandard work is associated with the underuse of screening services and poorer cardiovascular health in a specific population. Policies to reduce employment insecurity and encourage nonstandard employees to receive health screening services should be prioritized.

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