Skip to main content



This study uses Swedish occupational register data to examine whether the proportion of men in administrative workplaces in the Swedish public service affects all-cause mortality risks amongst both males and females of working age. Using piecewise constant survival models to analyse occupational data from the Swedish administrative registers from 1995 to 2007, it was found that for males, a 1% increase in the proportion of males was associated with a 1.3% increase in mortality risk (hazard ratio, HR 1.013, 95% CI 1.007–1.020, p<0.001), but no association was found for females (HR 1.004, 95% CI 0.996–1.012, p=0.297). Adjustments were made for age, family status, education, occupational status, occupational segregation by sex, the total number of individuals in the workplace, level of government, region, period and variables reflecting the workplace structure by age, age by sex, occupation and education. A higher proportion of males may be related to (i) an increased exposure to risky health behaviours such as alcohol consumption and unhealthy dietary patterns, (ii) a tendency towards sickness presenteeism, and (iii) an increase in the levels of several well-established emotional stressors in the workplace, leading to an increased level of psychosocial stress. The findings and potential extensions of this research are discussed.

Hide All
Alexanderson, K. & Östlin, P. (2001) Work and ill-health among women and men in Sweden. In Marklund, S. (ed) Worklife and Health in Sweden 2000. National Institute for Working Life, Stockholm, pp. 119134.
Benetou, V., Trichopoulou, A., Orfanos, P., Naska, A., Lagiou, P., Boffetta, P. & Trichopoulos, D. (2008) Conformity to traditional Mediterranean diet and cancer incidence: the Greek epic cohort. British Journal of Cancer 99, 191195.
Boffetta, P. & Hashibe, M. (2006) Alcohol and cancer. The Lancet Oncology 7(2), 149156.
Boffetta, P., Hashibe, M., La Vecchia, C., Zatonski, W. & Rehm, J. (2006) The burden of cancer attributable to alcohol drinking. International Journal of Cancer 119(4), 884887.
Brousse, G., Fontana, L., Ouchchane, L., Boisson, C., Gerbaud, L., Bourguet, al. (2008) Psychopathological features of a patient population of targets of workplace bullying. Occupational Medicine 58, 122128.
Bryngelson, A., Hertzman, J. B. & Fritzell, J. (2011) The relationship between gender segregation in the workplace and long-term sickness absence in Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 39(6), 19.
Chan, D. S. M., Lau, R., Aune, D., Vieira, R., Greenwood, D. C., Kampman, E. & Norat, T. (2011) Red and processed meat and colorectal cancer incidence: meta-analysis of prospective studies. PLoS ONE 6(6), e20456.
Chida, Y., Hamer, M., Wardle, J. & Steptoe, A. (2008) Do stress-related psychosocial factors contribute to cancer incidence and survival? Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology 5, 466475.
Einarsen, S. & Raknes, B. I. (1997) Harassment in the workplace and the victimization of men. Violence and Victims 12(3), 247263.
Einarsen, S. & Skogstad, A. (1996) Bullying at work: epidemiological findings in public and private organizations. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 5(2), 185201.
Glynn, L. M., Christenfeld, N. & Gerin, W. (1999) Gender, social support, and cardiovascular responses to stress. Psychosomatic Medicine 61, 234242.
Gruber, J. E. (1998) The impact of male work environments and organizational policies on women's experiences of sexual harassment. Gender and Society 12(3), 301320.
Haavio-Mannila, E. (1992) Impact of Co-Workers on Female Alcohol Use: Contemporary Drug Problems. Federal Legal Publications, New York.
Hensing, G. & Alexanderson, K. (2004) The association between sex segregation, working conditions, and sickness absence among employed women. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 61(2), e7.
Holt-Lunstad, J., Clayton, C. J. & Uchino, B. N. (2001) Gender differences in cardiovascular reactivity to competitive stress: the impact of gender of competitor and competition outcome. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 8(2), 91102.
Jin, L., Elwert, F., Freese, J. & Christakis, N. A. (2010) Preliminary evidence regarding the hypothesis that the sex ratio at sexual maturity may affect longevity in men. Demography 47(3), 579586.
Kanter, R. M. (1977) Men and Women of the Corporation. Basic Books, New York.
Kraft, J. M., Blum, T. C., Martin, J. K. & Roman, P. M. (1993) Drinking patterns and the gender mix of occupations: evidence from a national survey of American workers. Journal of Substance Abuse 5(2), 157174.
Leijon, M., Hensing, G. & Alexanderson, K. (2004) Sickness absence due to musculoskeletal diagnoses: association with occupational gender segregation. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 32, 94101.
Lucenteforte, E., Scita, V., Bosetti, C., Bertuccio, P., Negri, E. & La Vecchia, C. (2008) Food groups and alcoholic beverages and the risk of stomach cancer: a case-control study in Italy. Nutrition and Cancer 60(5), 577584.
McDonald, P. (2012) Workplace sexual harassment 30 years on: a review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews 14(1), 117.
Marmot, M. (2004) Status Syndrome: How your Social Standing Directly Affects your Health and Life Expectancy. Bloomsbury, London.
Marmot, M. G., Davey-Smith, G., Stansfeld, S., Patel, C., North, F., Head, al. (1991) Health inequalities among British civil servants: The Whitehall II study. The Lancet 337, 13871393.
Mastekaasa, A. (2005) Sickness absence in female- and male-dominated occupations and workplaces. Social Science & Medicine 60(10), 22612272.
Östlin, P., Klerdal, K. & Hammar, N. (2008) Time trends in incidence of myocardial infarction in male and female dominated occupations in Stockholm, Sweden. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 36, 546554.
Palme, M. & Svensson, L. (1999) Social security, occupational pensions, and retirement in Sweden. In Gruber, J. & Wise, D. A. (eds) Social Security and Retirement around the World. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 355402.
Pierre, J. (2010) Administrative reform in Sweden: the resilience of administrative tradition? In Painter, M. & Peters, B. G. (eds) Tradition and Public Administration. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 191202.
Pierre, J. & Ehn, P. (1999) The welfare state managers: senior civil servants in Sweden. In Page, E. C. & Wright, V. (eds) Bureaucratic Elites in Western European States: A Comparative Analysis of Top Officials. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 249265.
Primo, D. M., Jacobsmeier, M. L. & Milyo, J. (2007) The practical researcher: estimating the impact of state policies and institutions with mixed-level data. State Politics and Policy Quarterly 7(4), 446459.
Richman, J. A., Rospenda, K. M., Nawyn, S. J., Flaherty, J. A., Fendrich, M., Drum, M. L. & Johnson, T. P. (1999) Sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse among university employees: prevalence and mental health correlates. American Journal of Public Health 89(3), 358363.
Sapolsky, R. (2004) Social status and health in humans and other animals. Annual Review of Anthropology 33, 393418.
Savikko, A., Lanne, M., Spak, F. & Hensing, G. (2008) No higher risk of problem drinking or mental illness for women in male-dominated occupations. Substance Use & Misuse 43, 11511169.
Statistics Sweden [Statistiska Centralbyrån] (2011) Swedish Standard Classification of Occupations (SSYK) [in English]. URL:
Svedberg, P., Bildt, C., Lindelöw, M. & Alexanderson, K. (2009) Self-reported health among employees in relation to sex segregation at work sites. Journal of Occupational Health 51, 223231.
Vinde, P. (1970) The Swedish Civil Service: An Introduction. Ministry of Finance, Government of Sweden, Stockholm.
Von Bothmer, M. I. K. & Fridlund, B. (2005) Gender differences in health habits and in motivation for a healthy lifestyle among Swedish university students. Nursing & Health Sciences 7(2), 107118.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Biosocial Science
  • ISSN: 0021-9320
  • EISSN: 1469-7599
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-biosocial-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed