Poor health, employment transitions and gender: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey

Myung Ki, Yvonne Kelly, Amanda Sacker, James Nazroo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: We examined health selection in the context of transitions across employment statuses (employment, unemployment and inactivity), with attention to gender differences. Methods: 60,536 transitions from 7,901 individuals were pooled from 17 waves of the British Household Panel Survey. Associations between self-rated health and transitions across employment statuses were examined using multilevel multinomial analysis. Results: Health selective employment transitions between year t-1 and t were observed at entry to as well as exit from employment. Associations for poor health with the transitions were similar for men and women in transitions from employment to both unemployment and to inactivity, but with some differences in other transitions. When leaving employment, transitions from employment to unemployment (ORadjusted(adjusted odds ratio) = 1.51, 95 % CI = 1.21-1.89 for men and ORadjusted = 1.60, 95 % CI = 1.25-2.04 for women) and to inactivity (ORadjusted = 1.58, 95 % CI = 1.21-1.89 for men and ORadjusted = 1.63, 95 % CI = 1.35-1.96 for women) were affected by health status among both men and women. Similarly, poor health lowered the probability of transitions to employment from unemployment and inactivity; however, the negative impact of poor health was statistically significant only for women. Conclusions: There is a strong relationship between health and transitions both into and out of employment suggesting an independent role for poor health, and these associations were similar for men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-546
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Employment status
  • Gender difference
  • Health inequalities
  • Health selection
  • Multilevel modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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