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Trajectories in the prevalence of self-reported illness around retirement

24th September 2015 1pm, Edinburgh Room 1/G/8, Ladywell House, Edinburgh

Alan Marshall, University of St Andrews

In this presentation I will use wave 1 (2002) to wave 6 (2012) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to assess whether the increase in the prevalence of self-reported limiting long term illness with age differs before and after retirement and whether this varies according to socio-economic characteristics and the conditions of work in the final years of employment. The longitudinal analysis uses a sub-sample of ELSA comprising those who retired between wave 2 (2004) and wave 6 (2012) and a repeated measures logistic regression to model the trajectory in the log odds of illness before and after retirement. The results show a slower increase in self-reported illness after than before retirement that was most strongly observed for those in the least favourable circumstances prior to retirement (lower social class, depressed prior to retirement and single). A similar retirement effect was observed for those in physically demanding occupations. I will use my findings to evaluate previous research that has shown strong spatial patterns in self-reported illness rates around retirement using census data.