Author(s): Xiuwen Sue Dong
Objectives: To examine the health status of older construction workers in the United States, and how occupation and the aging process affect health in workers' later years.
Methods: We analyzed six waves (1998 to 2008) of the Health and Retirement Study, a longitudinal survey of US residents age 50+. The study sample totaled 7200 male workers (510 in construction trades) in the baseline. Multiple logistic regression and paired t tests were conducted to compare health outcomes across occupations and within individuals over time.
Results: Compared with white-collar workers, construction workers had increased odds of arthritis, back problems, chronic lung disease, functional limitations, work disability, and work-related injuries after controlling for possible confounders.
Conclusions: Safety and health interventions, as well as retirement and pension policy, should meet the needs of older construction workers, who face increasingly chronic health conditions over time.Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs