Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2023;49(6):395-404    pdf full text

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4101 | Published online: 25 Jun 2023, Issue date: 01 Sep 2023

Gender-based harassment in Swedish workplaces and alcohol-related morbidity and mortality: A prospective cohort study

by Blindow KJ, Thern E, Hernando-Rodriguez JC, Nyberg A, Magnusson Hanson LL

Objective The study investigated experiences of different types of work-related gender-based harassment (GBH), specifically sexual and gender harassment, as risk factors for alcohol-related morbidity and mortality (ARMM).

Methods Information about experiences of (i) sexual harassment (SH-I) and (ii) gender harassment (GH-I) from inside the organization and (iii) sexual harassment from a person external to the organization (SH-E) were obtained from the Swedish Work Environment Survey 1995–2013, a biannual cross-sectional survey, administered to a representative sample of the Swedish working population. The survey responses from 86 033 individuals were connected to multiple registers containing information about alcohol-related diagnoses, treatment, or cause of death. Cox proportional hazard models were fitted to assess hazard ratios (HR) of incident ARMM during a mean follow-up of eight (SH-I and GH-I) and ten (SH-E) years.

Results A higher prospective risk estimate of ARMM was found among participants who reported experiences of SH-E [HR 2.01, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.61–2.52], GH-I (HR 1.33, CI 1.03–1.70), or SH-I (HR 2.37, CI 1.42–3.00). Additional analyses, distinguishing one-time from reoccurring harassment experiences, indicated a dose–response relationship for all three harassment types. Gender did not modify the associations. Under the assumption of causality, 9.3% (95% CI 5.4–13.1) of the risk of ARMM among Swedish women and 2.1% (95% CI 0.6–3.6) among Swedish men would be attributable to any of the three types of GBH included in this study.

Conclusions Experiences of GBH in the work context may be a highly relevant factor in the etiology of ARMM.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2021;47(6):466-474
The following article refers to this text: 2023;49(7):449-452
Download additional material