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Rapid response to:


Effect of retirement on major chronic conditions and fatigue: French GAZEL occupational cohort study

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 24 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6149

Rapid Response:

Retirement, A Healthy Decision For Retiree

The Authors have done a wonderful study to assess the impact of
retirement on the health status of transiting population in geriatric
group. This study will provide a good insight into the policy implication
towards age of retirement from jobs worldwide.

Here are some comments which could have strengthened the
methodology and result of the study. Huge non response rate of 68% (14174
participated out of 44922 recruited) would fail to make the results of the study generalizable. It may lead to biased results as only health seeking
population will tend to participate. Participations rate could have been
improved by proper technique of invitation for study with the explanation
of the study. Some of the parameters like insurance coverage of the study
population, level of physical activity could have been considered in order
to validate the findings of the result. There is lack of information on
general health awareness of the population in the introduction. Assessment
of chronic condition was done on self reporting basis, so, how sure are we
that 100% of population is aware of their health status (respiratory
disease, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke etc.).

The most important finding of the study is "retirement was associated with
a substantial reduction in mental and physical fatigue and depressive
symptoms, particularly among people with chronic diseases". When it is
clearly mentioned in limitation of study that the depressive symptoms were
measured in only four of the yearly questionnaires sent to the
participants, so comments on the result and its policy implication without
validating with other study is not scientifically sound. Questionnaire on
fatigue should have been validated to avoid response bias and subjective
variations. Finding of the study is in line with the objective and it
needs to be validated in the same setting with other study after
considerations of major limitations.


Competing interests: No competing interests

29 November 2010
Dr Dhruv K Pandey
Medical Graduate
JIPMER, Pondicherry, India