Sunday, March 06, 2005

Downsizing and Mortality

First, a process note. BrooklynDodger is going to stop posting the full text of abstracts. They take up a lot of space on the blog, the reader should go find them on medline, which also would yield related references, and those readers who feel out of context postings distort results are encouraged to complain.

A second process note is that the Dodger is not always sure that something hasn't been posted before. But if the Dodger has forgotten writing it, probably the reader has forgotten reading it.

For the last decades, virtually all the work on health impacts of work stress is done in Europe, especially in the Nordic countries and even more in Finland. Researchers in this region can access data not readily available in the US, in this case personnel records and non workers compensation disability insurance.

The workers studied were municipal employees, so the virus of cutbacks in public service seems to have infected European social democracies.

Downsizing stresses employees who survive the cuts because their own jobs are threatened, their work load increases and the quality of their work goes down.

In this study, major downsizing was associated with an increase in sickness absence in permanent employees. More severe downsizing was also associated with more cardiovascular deaths. Cardiovascular mortality was 2.0 (95% confidence interval 1.0 to 3.9) times higher after major downsizing than after no downsizing. A 5.1 times increase in cardiovascular mortality for major downsizing during the first four years after downsizing.


[BMJ articles are available in full text]

BMJ 2004;328:555 (6 March),

Organisational downsizing, sickness absence, and mortality: 10-town prospective cohort study

Jussi Vahtera, senior researcher1, Mika Kivimäki, professor1, Jaana Pentti, statistician1, Anne Linna, research fellow1, Marianna Virtanen, research fellow1, Pekka Virtanen, senior lecturer2, Jane E Ferrie, senior research fellow3

1 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 aA, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland, 2 University of Tampere, Medical School, FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland, 3 International Centre for Health and Society, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Medical School, London WC1E 6BT
Correspondence to: J Vahtera, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Hämeenkatu 10, FIN-20500 Turku, Finland

Objective To examine whether downsizing, the reduction of personnel in organisations, is a predictor of increased sickness absence and mortality among employees.

1 comment:

gribley said...

hey, brooklyn, can I suggest that you post a PMID or a DOI id with these abstracts? That would make it really easy for us to look up the ref.

You could even use a link like
thisand just replace the PMID in the URL.

Just a suggestion. I like that you post from the literature, and I often find that I want to read the original. Thanks.