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Earlier retirement increases longevity

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If you are 65 and still working, it can be an add-on for you to live longer while retiring early may increase your chances of dying early, says new research, suggesting that there is a strong relationship between work and longevity.

The findings showed that healthy retirees who worked a year longer of age 65 had an 11 percent lower risk of death while unhealthy retirees who worked a year longer had a nine percent lower mortality risk which indicates that factors beyond health may affect post-retirement mortality.

“It may not apply to everybody but we think that work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives,” said lead study author Chenkai Wu from the Oregon State University in the US.

The team analysed 2,956 people who had retired from 1992 to 2010 and looked at effects of retirement on health.

Poor health is one reason people retire early and also can lead to earlier death, so researchers wanted to find a way to mitigate a potential bias in that regard.

They divided the participants into unhealthy retirees — who indicated that health was a factor in their decision to retire and healthy retirees — who indicated health was not a factor.

The results indicated that during the study period, about a 12 percent of the healthy and a 25.6 percent of the unhealthy retirees died.

Working a year longer had a positive impact on the study participants’ mortality rate regardless of their health status.

“Most research in this area has focused on the economic impacts of delaying retirement. I thought it might be good to look at the health impacts,” Wu added in the paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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