AimsDepression is among the main contributors to older adults' mental health burden. Retirement, one of the major life transitions, has been claimed to influence mental health substantially. Following up on a previous meta-analysis, the study aims to assess from a longitudinal perspective short- and long-term impacts of transitioning to retirement on depression risk and suicidality in older adults across Europe. MethodsWe conducted a longitudinal study using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), collected between 2004 and 2020 in 27 European countries plus Israel. To estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for depression and suicidality at seven time intervals before and after retirement, we fitted adjusted generalized estimating equation models for repeated measures. ResultsWe included 8,998 individuals employed at baseline and retired at follow-up (median follow-up time: 9 years; maximum: 16 years). Compared to the year of retirement, the risk of depression was 11% lower in the following year (RR 0.89; 95% CI 0.81-0.99), 9% lower after 2 years (RR 0.91; 95% CI 0.82-1.00) and after 3 years (RR 0.91; 95% CI 0.81-1.01). Significant estimates remained among females, married individuals, those with an intermediate or higher level of education, former manual workers and those who retired at or before their country's median retirement age. A significant increase in depressive symptoms emerged from the tenth year after retirement among former non-manual workers (RR 1.21; 95% CI 1.05-1.40) and late retirees (RR 1.37; 95% CI 1.16-1.63). No heterogeneity emerged among strata. As for suicidality, we reported an increase in risk only 5 years or more after retirement, namely +30% 5-9 years after retirement (RR 1.30; 95% CI 1.04-1.64) and +47% 10 or more years after retirement (RR 1.47; 95% CI 1.09-1.98). Sensitivity analyses excluding subjects who reported a diagnosis of depression over the study period and those retirees who declared to receive a disability pension confirmed the results obtained in the overall analysis. ConclusionsLongitudinal adjusted data suggest an independent effect of retiring associated with a reduction in depression and suicidality risk in the short run, with its effect decreasing in the long run. Such trends are particularly evident among selected subgroups of elderly populations. If greater flexibility in pensionable age may help prevent depression late in life, the transition to retirement is to be accompanied by targeted health promotion interventions. In an ageing society, welfare policies should be evaluated, considering their long-term impact on mental health.

Transition to retirement impact on risk of depression and suicidality: results from a longitudinal analysis of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

Mosconi, G;Vigezzi, G P;Bertuccio, P;Odone, A
2023-01-01

Abstract

AimsDepression is among the main contributors to older adults' mental health burden. Retirement, one of the major life transitions, has been claimed to influence mental health substantially. Following up on a previous meta-analysis, the study aims to assess from a longitudinal perspective short- and long-term impacts of transitioning to retirement on depression risk and suicidality in older adults across Europe. MethodsWe conducted a longitudinal study using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), collected between 2004 and 2020 in 27 European countries plus Israel. To estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for depression and suicidality at seven time intervals before and after retirement, we fitted adjusted generalized estimating equation models for repeated measures. ResultsWe included 8,998 individuals employed at baseline and retired at follow-up (median follow-up time: 9 years; maximum: 16 years). Compared to the year of retirement, the risk of depression was 11% lower in the following year (RR 0.89; 95% CI 0.81-0.99), 9% lower after 2 years (RR 0.91; 95% CI 0.82-1.00) and after 3 years (RR 0.91; 95% CI 0.81-1.01). Significant estimates remained among females, married individuals, those with an intermediate or higher level of education, former manual workers and those who retired at or before their country's median retirement age. A significant increase in depressive symptoms emerged from the tenth year after retirement among former non-manual workers (RR 1.21; 95% CI 1.05-1.40) and late retirees (RR 1.37; 95% CI 1.16-1.63). No heterogeneity emerged among strata. As for suicidality, we reported an increase in risk only 5 years or more after retirement, namely +30% 5-9 years after retirement (RR 1.30; 95% CI 1.04-1.64) and +47% 10 or more years after retirement (RR 1.47; 95% CI 1.09-1.98). Sensitivity analyses excluding subjects who reported a diagnosis of depression over the study period and those retirees who declared to receive a disability pension confirmed the results obtained in the overall analysis. ConclusionsLongitudinal adjusted data suggest an independent effect of retiring associated with a reduction in depression and suicidality risk in the short run, with its effect decreasing in the long run. Such trends are particularly evident among selected subgroups of elderly populations. If greater flexibility in pensionable age may help prevent depression late in life, the transition to retirement is to be accompanied by targeted health promotion interventions. In an ageing society, welfare policies should be evaluated, considering their long-term impact on mental health.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1480078
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