The relationship between employment status and insulin resistance in the Korean elderly population



This study aimed to investigate the relationship between employment status and insulin resistance in the Korean elderly population.


The study included 2325 healthy participants (862 men and 1463 women) who did not have diabetes, were 60–74 years old, and participated in the 2007–2010 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Their employment status was categorized as employed or unemployed. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was used to assess insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance was defined as values greater than the 75th percentile of the HOMA-IR (> 2.67 in men and > 2.87 in women).


Mean HOMA-IR values were significantly higher for both sexes in the unemployed group than in the employed group. Compared with the unemployed group, the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for insulin resistance in the employed group were 0.55 (0.34–0.87) in men and 0.68 (0.47–0.98) in women after adjusting for confounders.


Being employed was significantly associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance in the Korean elderly population. These findings suggest that insulin sensitivity could be increased by increasing physical activity through occupational activities in the elderly population.

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The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

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Correspondence to Yong-Jae Lee.

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The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Human and animal rights

The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (approval numbers: 2007-02CON-04-P, 2008-04EXP-01-C, 2009-01CON-03-2C, and 2010-02CON-21-C). In addition, this study was performed in accordance with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

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Park, JM., Dong, JJ., Lee, JW. et al. The relationship between employment status and insulin resistance in the Korean elderly population. Aging Clin Exp Res 30, 1385–1390 (2018).

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  • Occupational activity
  • Elderly
  • Employment status
  • Insulin resistance
  • Physical activity
  • Insulin sensitivity