Associations Between Age, Psychosocial Work Conditions, Occupational Well-Being, and Telomere Length in Geriatric Care Professionals: A Mixed-Methods Study

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Abstract

Objective:

We identified associations between age, psychosocial work characteristics, occupational well-being, and—as a measure of biological age—leukocyte telomere length in geriatric care professionals.

Methods:

This is a multisource study of self-reports on psychosocial work characteristics, standardized physician's evaluations of health, and relative telomere length measures of peripheral blood leukocytes. We included 141 geriatric care professionals. Telomere length was assessed by an improved polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method.

Results:

Increased depersonalization was associated with shorter telomeres. Their association with age was not moderated by psychosocial work conditions. There was, however, a significant three-way interaction of social support and work ability with the age–telomere association. Additionally, social support and adverse general health moderated the age–telomere length relationship.

Conclusions:

A supportive work environment and work-related health may influence the association between age and telomere length.

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