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Aging Farmers: Findings from the UC Davis Farmer Cohort 1993-2004 Marc Schenker, Diane Mitchell, Tracey Armitage Western Center for Agricultural Health.

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Presentation on theme: "Aging Farmers: Findings from the UC Davis Farmer Cohort 1993-2004 Marc Schenker, Diane Mitchell, Tracey Armitage Western Center for Agricultural Health."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aging Farmers: Findings from the UC Davis Farmer Cohort Marc Schenker, Diane Mitchell, Tracey Armitage Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Department of Public Health Sciences Center for Health and the Environment University of California at Davis

2 Introduction UC Davis Farmer Health Study (UCD FHS) UC Davis Farmer Health Study (UCD FHS) In 1993 random selection of California farm operators In 1993 random selection of California farm operators –1947 subjects surveyed by CATI Re-surveyed in 1998 and 2004 (did not have to be actively farming) Re-surveyed in 1998 and 2004 (did not have to be actively farming) Aim: Identify prevalence and risk factors for acute and chronic disease in CA farmers, with the objective of prevention of disease Aim: Identify prevalence and risk factors for acute and chronic disease in CA farmers, with the objective of prevention of disease

3 Outline Characteristics of farmers aged >65 in 2004 compared to the general population Characteristics of farmers aged >65 in 2004 compared to the general population Older farmers compared with their younger counterparts in 2004 Older farmers compared with their younger counterparts in 2004 Determinants of retirement Determinants of retirement Changes in farmers > 55 in 1993 followed to 2004 Changes in farmers > 55 in 1993 followed to 2004 Mortality Mortality

4 Comparison of UCD Farmer Data with CA and USA Farmers: Farming UCD FHS CA 1992 USA 1992 Demographics: 1993 N194777,699 1,925,300 Mean age (y) Females 10.1%12.4% 7.5% White Non – Hispanic 84.5%92.5% 97.6%  50% income from farming 48.6% farming 48.6% Current smoker12.0% Median acreage

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6 Comparison with the General Population >65 years old, 2004 Non-Hispanic White population, both sexes, aged 65 and above * USA category included coronary heart disease; 20.8% ** No equivalent in the USA data *** CA data

7 Limitations on Activity: Older Farmers vs. Older US Adults, 2004 Bold: higher prevalence than in general population

8 Average Hours per Week Worked by Active Farmers, 2004

9 How do “older” farmers differ from “younger” farmers? We defined “older” farmers as greater than 65 years old and compared them to their younger counterparts. All were actively farming in 2004 when surveyed. We defined “older” farmers as greater than 65 years old and compared them to their younger counterparts. All were actively farming in 2004 when surveyed. –Demographics –Work hours –Exposures –Health

10 Older vs Younger: Demographics

11 Older vs. Younger: Work Hours

12 Older vs Younger: Exposures

13 Older vs Younger: Health Outcomes

14 Do Older Farmers Really Retire? We were able to separate ”Retired” farmers into two types of reduction of farming responsibilities We were able to separate ”Retired” farmers into two types of reduction of farming responsibilities Whether they were not doing any type of farming –, either paid or just helping out. Whether they were not doing any type of farming – zero hours worked, either paid or just helping out. Or whether they were still doing some work, but no longer made the day to day decisions on the farm. (No longer a primary operator) Or whether they were still doing some work, but no longer made the day to day decisions on the farm. (No longer a primary operator)

15 Aging Farmers > 65 years : Work Status in 2004

16 Age Composition of Working and Retired Farmers

17 Health Conditions Associated with Retirement (age >65) * Reference level = the percentage in the worst self-ranked category ** OR- Odds Ratio adjusted for age

18 How do older farmers change over time? We defined “older” farmers as those over 65 in How had these farmers changed since originally interviewed in 1993? We defined “older” farmers as those over 65 in How had these farmers changed since originally interviewed in 1993? –Farm size and income –Commodities –Work hours –Exposures –Health outcomes

19 : Salary and Farm Size

20 : Commodities

21 : Work Hours

22 : Exposures

23 : Health Outcomes

24 Farmer Mortality: Expected vs. Observed Deaths

25 Conclusions Comparison to general population Comparison to general population –Lower rates of diabetes and stroke/cardiovascular accidents –Higher rates of skin cancer, lung problems, and arthritis –Lower over-all mortality: 51% of expected, adjusted for age and gender (p<0.0001)

26 Conclusions - 2 Active farmers: ≤65 vs >65 – –Younger farmers have higher rates of education, more acreage, work more hours, are more likely to drive tractors – –Older farmers have lower household salaries, greater rates of diabetes Determinants of Retirement – –70% of farmers over 65 continue to work in some capacity – –Those who retire are twice as likely to have diabetes. They also rate themselves as having poorer health and work ability

27 Conclusions - 3 Change over time: Change over time: –Over time, farmers as a whole are less likely to have vegetables or field crops or to drive tractors, they spend less time in the field and decrease their total work hours, and decrease their prevalence of smoking. –Over time farmers are more likely to use a mask or cartridge when in dust, have higher rates of respiratory symptoms and diabetes, and are more likely to have an injury which limits their function.

28 Or Agricultural Health and Safety Listserver

29 Thank you!


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