Previous anxiety and depression as risk factors for early labour force exit

Kara Rudolph, William W. Eaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Individuals with a history of mental illness have lower earnings than individuals without. A possible reason is that those with prior anxiety or depression may be more likely to exit the labour force prior to retirement age, but evidence has been mixed and limited. Our objective was to compare risk of early labour force exit between employed adults with a history of depression or anxiety versus those without, separately for men and women. Methods We used data from the Baltimore Epidemiological Catchment Area Follow-up Cohort, which collected baseline data in 1981 and follow-up data 1993-1996 and 2004-2005. Cox proportional hazards models estimated the relative risk of labour force exit comparing those with versus without prior history of anxiety or depressive disorders. Results Women with prior anxiety or depression are at 37% increased risk of dropping out of the labour force as compared to women without, controlling for age, socioeconomic status, race and marital status (HR: 1.37, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.79). Men with prior anxiety or depression are 18% more likely to subsequently drop out of the labour force as compared to men without, controlling for the above confounders as well as veteran status, but this association is not statistically significant (HR: 1.18, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.27). Conclusions Prior anxiety or depression increases risk of early labour force exit for women. These findings may help explain previously reported lower earnings among female individuals with a history of mental illness and highlight the importance of considering anxiety and depressive disorders in policies supporting labour force participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-395
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Anxiety
Depression
Depressive Disorder
Anxiety Disorders
Baltimore
Retirement
Marital Status
Veterans
Proportional Hazards Models
Social Class

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Previous anxiety and depression as risk factors for early labour force exit. / Rudolph, Kara; Eaton, William W.

In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Vol. 70, No. 4, 28.10.2015, p. 390-395.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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