Exploring the relationship between self-employment and women's cardiovascular health.

TitleExploring the relationship between self-employment and women's cardiovascular health.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsDzodzomenyo, S, Narain, KDanae Caul
JournalBMC Womens Health
ISSN Number1472-6874
KeywordsCross-Sectional Studies, Educational Status, Employment, Female, Social Class, Socioeconomic factors

BACKGROUND: Compared with wage and salary work, self-employment has been linked to more favorable cardiovascular health outcomes within the general population. Women comprise a significant proportion of the self-employed workforce and are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease. Self-employed women represent a unique population in that their cardiovascular health outcomes may be related to gender-specific advantages of non-traditional employment. To date, no studies have comprehensively explored the association between self-employment and risk factors for cardiovascular disease among women.

METHODS: We conducted a weighted cross-sectional analysis using data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Our study sample consisted of 4624 working women (employed for wages and self-employed) enrolled in the 2016 HRS cohort. Multivariable linear and logistic regression were used to examine the relationship between self-employment and several self-reported physical and mental health risk factors for cardiovascular disease, controlling for healthcare access.

RESULTS: Among working women, self-employment was associated with a 34% decrease in the odds of reporting obesity, a 43% decrease in the odds of reporting hypertension, a 30% decrease in the odds of reporting diabetes, and a 68% increase in the odds of reporting participation in at least twice-weekly physical activity (p < 0.05). BMI for self-employed women was on average 1.79 units lower than it was for women working for wages (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Employment structure may have important implications for cardiovascular health among women, and future studies should explore the causal relationship between self-employment and cardiovascular health outcomes in this population.


Citation Key12558
PubMed ID35870911
PubMed Central IDPMC9308471