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Working past age 65 could mean a longer life: study

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Photo: Johnny Greig/iStockphoto

Corvallis, OR – Working after the age of 65 may result in a longer life, according to a new study from Oregon State University.

Researchers examined data from nearly 3,000 adults in the Health and Retirement Study from 1992 until their retirement in 2010. To explore how factors other than health impact mortality, researchers split participants into two groups: unhealthy retirees, who cited poor health as one reason they decided to retire, and healthy retirees.

Taking into account participants’ demographic, lifestyle and health factors, results showed that working one year past the typical retirement age of 65 had a positive impact on mortality rate, regardless of health status, a press release from OSU states. Healthy retirees who worked a year past age 65 had an 11 percent lower risk of death from all causes; for unhealthy retirees, the risk was 9 percent lower.

The findings indicate that staying active could benefit longevity, researchers said, adding that further research is necessary to explore the connection between work and health.

“It may not apply to everybody, but we think work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives,” Chenkai Wu, lead study author and doctoral student in the university’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said in the release.

The study was published online March 21 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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