Occupational Stressors and Hypertension Risk during The Retirement Transition: Exploring Variation by Cohort and Race

Briana Mezuk, University of Michigan
Kyuang Lim, University of Michigan
Jane Rafferty, University of Michigan
Sha Juan Colbert, University of Michigan
Kiarri Kershaw, University of Michigan
Darrell L. Hudson, University of Michigan

Exposure to occupational stressors– particularly high demand/low decision latitude job strain –is associated with elevated blood pressure and potentially risk of hypertension. It is unresolved whether these relationships change over the life course or vary across race (i.e., differential exposure to workplace discrimination), and whether there are lingering effects of these stressors on health after employment has ceased. We used the Health and Retirement Survey to examine the relationships between occupational stressors and hypertension risk during the retirement transition and whether those associations vary across and within racial groups. Job strain was associated with elevated risk of hypertension, particularly among the cohort aged 60-65. The relationship between job strain and hypertension persisted only for non-Hispanic whites. In contrast, workplace discrimination was associated with hypertension for all racial groups. These findings indicate that working conditions in later life influence hypertension risk and that these relationships vary across age and demographic groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 1