An international group of researchers looked for changes in the risk of chronic diseases, depressive symptoms, and fatigue.

First, the details.

  • 11,246 men and 2,858 women in the GAZEL study (employees of the French national gas and electricity company) participated in this research.
  • Respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, mental fatigue, and physical fatigue, were measured annually by self-report over the 15 years.
  • Depressive symptoms were measured at 4 time points.

And, the results.

  • Retirement was associated with a substantial decrease in the prevalence of mental fatigue and physical fatigue.
  • A major decrease was also observed in depressive symptoms.
  • The decrease in fatigue around retirement was more pronounced among people with a chronic disease before retirement.
  • The cumulative prevalence of chronic disease increased with age, with no break in the trend around the time of retirement.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded; “retirement did not change the risk of major chronic diseases but was associated with a substantial reduction in mental and physical fatigue and depressive symptoms, particularly among people with chronic diseases.”

And, retirees start to benefit about 2 years before retirement.

1/24/11 19:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.