Background: The study aimed to determine the association of individual cognitive ability in late midlife with labor market participation among older workers.
Methods: This prospective cohort study estimates the risk of long-term sickness absence, disability pension, early retirement, and unemployment from scores on the Intelligenz-Struktur-Test 2000R by combining data from 5076 workers from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank with a register on social transfer payments. Analyses were stepwise adjusted for age, gender, physical and psychosocial work environment, health behaviors, occupational social class, education, and chronic diseases.
Results: In the fully adjusted model, low cognitive ability (≥1 standard deviation below the mean for each gender) and high cognitive ability (≥1 standard deviation above the mean for each gender) were not associated with risk of any of the four labor market outcomes.
Conclusion: Individual cognitive ability in late midlife was not associated with risk of long-term sickness absence, disability pension, early retirement, and unemployment in the fully adjusted model. Thus, no direct effect of individual cognitive ability in late midlife was observed on the risk of permanently or temporarily leaving the labor market.