Job Strain as a Risk Factor for Incident Diabetes Mellitus in Middle and Older Age U.S. Workers

Miriam Mutambudzi, Zulqarnain Javed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Scopus citations


    Objectives: The current study examined the relationship between the 4 quadrants of the job strain model and incident diabetes in U.S. working adults 50 years and older. Methods: This study used longitudinal data from the 2006-2012 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (n = 1,396). Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to examine whether job strain significantly predicted diabetes incidence. Results: Participants in high strain and passive jobs had significantly higher risk of diabetes relative to those in low strain jobs. In the univariate survival curves, significantly higher risk of diabetes was observed in men working in passive jobs. After adjustment for relevant covariates, participants in high strain (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.09-2.75) and passive (HR = 1.66, 95% CI = 1.01-2.73) jobs had a significantly increased risk of diabetes. Among adults 65 years and older, high strain and passive jobs were associated with an approximately fourfold increased risk of incident diabetes. Discussion: High strain and passive occupations which represent low control over work are associated with increased risk of diabetes incidence among older workers. More research is required to better understand how psychosocial work factors impact health in aging workers. Further, research should continue to explore gender differences in effects of job strain on diabetes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1089-1096
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


    • Aging workforce
    • Chronic conditions
    • Psychosocial work characteristics
    • Work-related stress

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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