Bridge employment has been encouraged by many countries worldwide as the societies age rapidly. However, the health impact on bridge employment is not consistent in previous studies. This study aims to explore the association between bridge employment and the long-term health outcome among the Chinese population.
In this prospective cohort study, we used a subset of the China Kadoorie Biobank study, in which 163,619 participants who reached the statutory age of retirement at baseline (2004-2008) were included in this study. Mortality statistics were obtained from death registries in the Death Surveillance Points system annually. We used a Cox proportional hazard model to analyze the association between bridge employment and all-cause mortality.
Overall, we found that compared to retired/non-employed men and women, hazards of all-cause mortality were lower in older people with bridge employment (Men: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.77-0.88; Women: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.74-0.94) in healthy populations. The protective effect of bridge employment was stronger among older adults living in rural areas and among those from a relatively low socioeconomic status.
The lower risk of all-cause mortality associated with bridge employment was consistently observed among older men and women. Our findings may provide important insights from the health dimension on the retirement policy-making in China as a hyper-ageing society.