2015 Volume 57 Issue 3 Pages 222-229
Objective: This study attempted to use the community health survey (CHS) to identify the effect of long working hours (long WHs) and night/shift work on suicidal ideation among the employed population of Korea. Methods: This study used data from 67,471 subjects who were administered the 2008 CHS which obtained information regarding sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors and working environment, using structured questionnaires and personal interviews. We adopted multiple logistic regression models for gender and employment stratification. Results: Among male employees, suicidal ideation was significantly associated with only moderately long WHs (51–60 hours), after controlling covariates (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.30; 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 1.07 to 1.57). Self-employed/male employer populations had higher suicidal ideation when they had moderately long WHs (aOR, 1.23; 95%CI, 1.01 to 1.50) and very long WHs (over 60 hours) (aOR, 1.31; 95%CI, 1.08 to 1.59). Among the female population, suicidal ideation was significantly association with moderately long WHs in the employee group (aOR, 1.31; 95%CI, 1.08 to 1.58) and moderately (aOR, 1.35; 95%CI, 1.08 to 1.69) and very (aOR, 1.33; 95%CI, 1.07 to 1.65) long WHs in the self-employed/employer group. Shift work was a significant predictor only in the female population in the employee groups (aOR, 1.45; 95%CI, 1.23 to 1.70). Conclusions: Long WHs and shift work were associated with suicidal ideation when taking into account gender and employment differences. The harmful effects of exceptionally long WHs in Korea, among other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, raise concerns about public and occupational health. To address the issue of long WHs, labor policies that reduce maximum working hours and facilitate job stability are needed.(J Occup Health 2015; 57: 222–229)
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