Background: Little is known about statistical associations between occupation and hypertension for persons more than age 65.
Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2004 Health and Retirement Survey. We drew 12 gender-specific sub-samples (age 65+; age 70+; age 75+) who reported at least 1 year or 10 years tenure in the same occupation. For 65+ with at least 1 year tenure, n = 3645 men and n = 3644 women. Hypertension was self-reported based on physician diagnosis. Logistic regressions controlled for demographic variables and risk factors.
Results: After adjusting for control variables, including education, race, income, smoking, drinking, body mass, and number of comorbidities, the following occupations were significantly (P < 0.05) more likely than managers to report hypertension in at least two of the six sub-samples for women: professionals, salespeople, private household cleaning service workers, and personal service workers. Statistically significant occupations in at least two of the six sub-samples for men included: salespersons, personal service workers, mechanics, construction trades, precisions production workers, and operators.
Conclusion: Current and especially pre-retirement occupations were risk factors for hypertension among seniors.