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J Affect Disord. 2018 Oct 1;238:311-316. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.06.007. Epub 2018 Jun 3.

Mental health by gender-specific occupational groups: Profiles, risks and dominance of predictors.

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Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki/Kuopio, Finland. Electronic address:
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki/Kuopio, Finland.
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland; SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland; Administrative Data Research Centre (Northern Ireland), Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki/Kuopio, Finland; School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, United Kingdom.



We defined gender-specific profiles of mental ill-health for the main occupational groups using three outcomes; antidepressant use, sickness absence (SA) due to depression, and suicides. We also examined which occupational groups had the highest risk of the outcomes, and compared the importance of their predictors.


From a random register cohort of Finnish working age population, individuals in the six largest occupational groups in 2004 for men and women were included (N = 414 357). We used register data to define the first antidepressant purchase (i.e. use), the first long-term SA spell for depression, and suicide between Jan 1st 2005 and Dec 31st 2014. We assessed the risk of each outcome by occupational group with logistic regression models, and used dominance analysis to compare the relative importance of predictors.


In all six occupational groups for women, the prevalence of antidepressant use and SA for depression was higher than in the men's occupational groups. The opposite was observed for suicides. The risk of antidepressant use was lower, but the risk of suicide was 2-times higher among men in low vs. high-skilled occupations. Among women, a lower skill-level was associated with a higher risk of SA due to depression. Gender was the most important predictor of all outcomes.


We lacked information on history of medication use or health problems prior to follow-up.


Gendered occupational status was an underlying factor explaining distinctive mental health profiles in the working population. Occupational class-dependent behavioural patterns related to mental health existed among men.


Antidepressant; Depression; Gender; Mental health; Occupation; Sickness absence; Suicide

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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