An abrupt stop is a great mistake. I think it's wise to keep your hand
on the plough. If you have quit your job, find something like it to do
part-time or find substitute activities, such as volunteer work or getting
involved in politics... Keep busy; stay involved.
B. F. Skinner.
Retirement may increase a man's risk of dying of heart attack. "We found an 80 percent higher rate of death from
coronary disease among those in a study who had retired compared with those who had not," said Dr. Charles H. Hennekens of Harvard
Medical School. It may be that some people who retire get all nervous about it and kind of tense," said
Hennekens. "That may be a way of explaining this, but I just don't know."
Hennekens said he and his colleagues were trying to set up a long-term study of up to 10,000 elderly persons to determine
their physical and mental responses to retirement. Among thevariables not included in the current data, he said, were length
of retirement, changes in lifestyle and attitudes toward retirement. The last may be very important, he said, since "for
some people, retirement is a reward for a lifetime's work and they look forward to it. But for other people, it is a
punishment for growing old. Those who feel that way perhaps might be the ones who get nervous, but we don't have that
Each victim was matched with another man of similar age living in the same neighborhood. Of the 568 pairs of victims and
controls, 102 included one retiree and one person still at work. Of those, Hennekens said, 76 of the dead men were retirees, while
only 26 of the living men had retired. After adjusting the information for age differences and other variables, he said,
"there was still this 80 percent association." He said the tentative findings applied only to men in whom coronary disease
is much more common than in women. By age 60, one in five American men will have had a coronary problem, while the figure
for women is about one in 17.
Fingertip Facts, Des Moines Register, November 11,
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