Gender, Depression, and Blue-collar Work: A Retrospective Cohort Study of US Aluminum Manufacturers.

Author(s) Elser, H.; Rehkopf, D.H.; Meausoone, V.; Jewell, N.P.; Eisen, E.A.; Cullen, M.R.
Journal Epidemiology
Date Published 2019 05
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Industrial blue-collar workers face multiple work-related stressors, but evidence regarding the burden of mental illness among today's blue-collar men and women remains limited.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we examined health and employment records for 37,183 blue- and white-collar workers employed by a single US aluminum manufacturer from 2003 to 2013. Using Cox proportional hazards regression, we modeled time to first episode of treated depression by gender and occupational class. Among cases, we modeled rates of depression-related service utilization with generalized gamma regression.

RESULTS: Compared with their white-collar counterparts, blue-collar men were more likely to be treated for depression (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1, 1.4) as were blue-collar women (HR = 1.4; 1.2, 1.6). Blue-collar women were most likely to be treated for depression as compared with white-collar men (HR = 3.2; 95% CI = 2.1, 5.0). However, blue-collar workers used depression-related services less frequently than their white-collar counterparts among both men (rate ratio = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.84, 0.98) and women (rate ratio = 0.82; 95% CI = 0.77, 0.88).

CONCLUSIONS: Blue-collar women were more likely to be treated for depression than white-collar workers, and blue-collar women were most likely to be treated for depression compared with white-collar men. However, blue-collar men and women used depression-related healthcare services less frequently than white-collar workers. These findings underscore that blue-collar women may be uniquely susceptible to depression, and suggest that blue-collar workers may encounter barriers to care-seeking related mental illness other than their insurance status.

DOI 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000993
ISSN 1531-5487
Citation Elser H, Rehkopf DH, Meausoone V, Jewell NP, Eisen EA, Cullen MR. Gender, Depression, and Blue-collar Work: A Retrospective Cohort Study of US Aluminum Manufacturers. Epidemiology. 2019;30(3):435-444.