Gender, mental health, physical health and retirement: A prospective study of 21,608 Australians aged 55-69 years

Julie E. Byles*, Kha Vo, Peta M. Forder, Louise Thomas, Emily Banks, Bryan Rodgers, Adrian Bauman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives We examined retirement transitions by gender, and different associations between retirement, physical function and mental health. Methods Data for 21,608 participants aged 55-69 from the 45 and Up Study were used. Generalised estimating equations were used to investigate longitudinal associations between retirement with psychological distress (Kessler score, K10) and physical dysfunction across two time points, by gender separately. Results Retirement in men was associated with a 25% relative increase in mean physical dysfunction score (p < 0.001) and a 2% relative increase in mean K10 score (p = 0.004), although men with high physical dysfunction score had a 6% increase in mean K10 score (p = 0.005) if retired. For women, retirement was associated with a 17% increase in mean physical dysfunction score (p < 0.001), with no association observed with the K10 score. Results were adjusted for demographic and health covariates. Conclusion Retirement is associated with physical dysfunction over time. Retirement is not associated with psychological distress among women, but retirement is associated with psychological distress among men who have a high level of physical dysfunction. The findings point to the importance of attending to the physical and mental health needs, around the retirement period, particularly for men with poor physical health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-48
    Number of pages9
    JournalMaturitas
    Volume87
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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