Trajectories of precarious employment and the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke among middle-aged workers in Sweden: A register-based cohort study

Nuria Matilla-Santander, Carles Muntaner, Bertina Kreshpaj, Virginia Gunn, Johanna Jonsson, Lauri Kokkinen, Jenny Selander, Sherry L. Baron, Cecilia Orellana, Per Olof Östergren, Tomas Hemmingsson, David H. Wegman, Theo Bodin

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Background: The aim is to identify trajectories of precarious employment (PE) over time in Sweden to examine associations of these with the subsequent risk of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke. Methods: This is a nation-wide register-based cohort study of 1,583,957 individuals aged 40 to 61 years old residing in Sweden between 2003-2007. Trajectories of PE as a multidimensional construct and single PE components (contractual employment relationship, temporariness, income levels, multiple job holding, probability of coverage by collective agreements) were identified for 2003-2007 by means of group-based model trajectories. Risk Ratios (RR) for MI and stroke according to PE trajectories were calculated by means of generalized linear models with binomial family. Findings: Adjusted estimates showed that constant PE and borderline PE trajectories increased the risk of MI (RR: 1·08, CI95%:1·05-1·11 and RR:1·13, CI95%: 1·07-1·20 respectively) and stroke (RR:1·14, CI95%: 1·10-1·18 and HR:1·24, CI95%: 1·16-1·33 respectively) among men. A higher risk of stroke in men was found for the following unidimensional trajectories: former agency employees (RR:1·32, CI95%:1·04-1·68); moving from high to a low probability of having collective agreements (RR: 1·10, CI95%:1·01-1·20). Having constant low or very low income was associated to an increased risk of MI and Stroke for both men and women. Interpretation: The study findings provide evidence that PE increases the risk of stroke and possibly MI. It highlights the importance of being covered by collective bargaining agreements, being directly employed and having sufficient income levels over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100314
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Cardiovascular
  • Collective bargaining agreements
  • Group-based model trajectories
  • Income
  • Multiple job holding
  • Temporary agency work
  • Unstable employment


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