A Systematic Review of Retirement as a Risk Factor for Mortality
Matthew J. Shim, US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine
David Gimeno, University of Texas at San Antonio
Sandi Pruitt, Washington University in St. Louis
Christopher McLeod, University of British Columbia
Margaret J. Foster, Texas A&M University
Benjamin Amick, University of Texas at Houston
The relationship between retirement and health is not well established. Research examining retirement as a risk factor for mortality is sparse and heterogeneous in terms of the definition of retirement, the analytic methods used and consequently the findings reported. A systematic literature review using a modified Cochrane and ‘best evidence synthesis‘ approach answered the question―Does the research literature support the view that type of retirement is a risk factor for mortality? We identified 1,126 studies related to retirement and mortality. After exclusions based on content and quality, 13 studies remained for data extraction and evidence synthesis. We found a strong and sufficient level of evidence suggesting that all-type retirement is a risk factor for mortality. However, there is only mixed evidence regarding the relationship between specific types of retirement (i.e., on-time, early and health-related) and mortality. No conclusion can be made about specific retirement types and mortality.