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Work-family life courses and markers of stress and inflammation in mid-life: Evidence from the National Child Development Study

Lacey, RE and Sacker, A and Kumari, M and Worts, D and McDonough, P and Booker, C and McMunn, A (2016) 'Work-family life courses and markers of stress and inflammation in mid-life: Evidence from the National Child Development Study.' International Journal of Epidemiology, 45 (4). 1247 - 1259. ISSN 0300-5771

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© The Author 2015. Background: This study investigated associations between work-family life courses and biomarkers of inflammation and stress in mid-life among British men and women. Gender differences in these associations were also explored. Methods: A novel statistical method-multi-channel sequence analysis-defined workfamily life courses between the ages of 16 and 42 years, combining annual information on work, partnership and parenthood. Associations between work-family life courses and inflammation [C-reactive protein (CRP), fibrinogen and von Willebrand factor] and cortisol at age 44/45 years were tested using multivariate linear regression using multiply- imputed data on almost 6500 participants from the National Child Development Study 1958 British birth cohort. Results: Compared with those who combined strong ties to paid work with later transitions to stable family lives ('Work, later family' group), 'Teen parents' had higher CRP [40.6% higher, 95% confidence interval (CI): 5.6, 87.0] and fibrinogen (7.8% higher, 95% CI: 2.3, 13.5) levels, and homemakers ('No paid work, early family') had raised fibrinogen levels (4.7% higher, 95% CI: 0.7, 9.0), independent of childhood health and socioeconomic position, adult socioeconomic position, health behaviours and body mass index (BMI). Those who combined later transitions to stable family ties with a career break for childrearing had higher post-waking cortisol than the 'Work, later family' group; however, no associations were seen for other work-family types, therefore suggesting a null finding with cortisol. No statistically significant gender interactions in associations between work-family types and inflammatory or cortisol outcomes were found. Conclusions: Work-family life courses characterised by early parenthood or weak work ties were associated with a raised risk profile in relation to chronic inflammation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2016 11:11
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 18:15

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