Retirement status and frailty: a cross-sectional study of the phenotype of manual workers aged 50-70 years

Kristoffer L Norheim*, Henrik Bøggild, Johan Hviid Andersen, Øyvind Omland, Jakob H Bønløkke, Pascal Madeleine


Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

3 Citationer (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The frailty phenotype is predictive of mortality and has been identified in the working population. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence of frailty and individual frailty symptoms among active and retired Danish manual workers and to delineate the relationship between frailty and lifestyle factors.

METHODS: Manual workers aged 50-70 years answered questions relating to the Fried criteria for frailty (weight loss, exhaustion, slowness, weakness and inactivity). Only men were included in the analyses and respondents were stratified according to work status: active workers (n = 1555), early retirees (n = 289) and workers retired at or after normal pension age (n = 291). Associations between pre-frailty/frailty, work status and various lifestyle factors were estimated using binomial logistic regression.

RESULTS: Overall, the prevalence of pre-frailty (one or two symptoms) and frailty (three or more symptoms) was 33.3% and 1.5%, respectively. Those who had retired early were more likely to be pre-frail/frail compared with active workers (odds ratio 2.20, 95% CI 1.61-3.01). Exhaustion was the most prominent symptom reported by 22.2% of active workers, 34.6% of early retirees and 16.5% of workers retired at normal retirement age. Lifestyle factors including obesity, physical inactivity and smoking but not alcohol intake were associated with pre-frailty/frailty.

CONCLUSION: Symptoms of frailty are identifiable and present among both active and retired manual workers. Data suggest discrepancies among Danish manual workers, with some having unhealthy lifestyles and being more prone to develop pre-frailty and frailty already in their sixth decade of life.

TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Public Health
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)116-121
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2021


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