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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

MICRA Professors Publication Sparks Media Interest

21 June 2017

Tarani Chandola’s recent article in the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological and Social Sciences has sparked the interest of the national media.

Tarani's article has received significant media and blog coverage in the press. The publication “Retirement and Socioeconomic Differences in Diurnal Cortisol: Longitudinal Evidence From a Cohort of British Civil Servants” shows that socio-economic differences in cortisol levels – a key biomarker associated with stress - increase rather than decrease around retirement.

The study is ground-breaking in that it’s the first of its kind to actually clinically measure stress levels before and after retirement by taking five saliva samples from them throughout the day rather than asking participants how they felt.

The paper draws on analysis of the 7th, 8th and 9th waves of the Whitehall II civil servants study and was written in collaboration with Patrick Rouxel (UCL), Michael G. Marmot (UCL) and Meena Kumari (Essex).

National news publications such as The Express and Daily Mail have noted that the study shows how retirement can be more rather than less stressful for individuals who retire from low status jobs, as opposed to their wealthier counterparts who retire from high status and high earning jobs. Professor Chandola explains “This may be because workers who retire from low-status jobs often face financial and other pressures in retirement. This study suggests that people's stress levels are not just determined by immediate circumstances, but by long run factors over the course of their lives."

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