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Sociodemographic Differences Between Alcohol Use and Sickness Absence: Pooled Analysis of Four Cohort Studies
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9113-2428
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland / Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom / Clinicum, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Population-based Cohorts Unit, INSERM, Paris, Villejuif, France / French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Research Unit 1168 Aging and Chronic Diseases—Epidemiological and Public Health Approaches, INSERM, Paris, Villejuif, France.
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2018 (English)In: Alcohol and Alcoholism, ISSN 0735-0414, E-ISSN 1464-3502, Vol. 53, no 1, p. 95-103Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: We examined differences in sickness absence in relation to at-risk drinking and abstinence, taking into account potential changes in consumption.& para;& para;Methods: We used individual-participant data (n = 46,514) from four prospective cohort studies from Finland, France and the UK. Participants responded to a survey on alcohol use at two time points 4-6 years apart, and were linked to records of sickness absence for an similar to 6-year follow-up after the latter survey. Abstainers were those reporting no alcohol use in either survey. At-risk drinkers at T1 were labelled as 'former', at-risk drinkers at T2 as 'current' and at-risk drinkers at both times as 'consistent' at-risk drinkers. The reference group was low-risk drinkers at both times. Study-specific analyses were stratified by sex and socioeconomic status (SES) and the estimates were pooled using meta-analysis.& para;& para;Results: Among men (n = 17,285), abstainers (6%), former (5%), current (5%) and consistent (7%) at-risk drinkers had an increased risk of sickness absence compared with consistent low-risk drinkers (77%). Among women (n = 29,229), only abstainers (12%) had a higher risk of sickness absence compared to consistent low-risk drinkers (74%). After adjustment for lifestyle and health, abstaining from alcohol was associated with sickness absence among people with intermediate and high SES, but not among people with low SES.& para;& para;Conclusions: The U-shaped alcohol use-sickness absence association is more consistent in men than women. Abstinence is a risk factor for sickness absence among people with higher rather than lower SES. Healthy worker effect and health selection may partly explain the observed differences.& para;& para;Short summary: In a pooled analysis from four cohort studies from three European countries, we demonstrated a U-shaped association between alcohol use and sickness absence, particularly among men. Abstinence from alcohol was associated with increased sickness absenteeism among both sexes and across socioeconomic strata, except those with low SES.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2018. Vol. 53, no 1, p. 95-103
Keywords [en]
alcohol drinking, socioeconomic, factors illness
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Individual and Society VIDSOC
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-14680DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agx079ISI: 000419586000015PubMedID: 29040353Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85040517944OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-14680DiVA, id: diva2:1177298
Available from: 2018-01-25 Created: 2018-01-25 Last updated: 2018-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Suominen, Sakari

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