In the present study we examined the potential association between age, gender, the genetic variant FKBP5 rs9470080 and subjective health complaints.
The data were collected through a three-wave nationally representative survey of 1060 Norwegian employees drawn from the Norwegian Central Employee Register by Statistics Norway. The follow-up period was six months. Subjective health complaints were scored by eight items reflecting; headache, neck pain, mid- and low back pain, stomach cramps or intestinal discomfort, problems with sleep onset or maintenance and early morning awakening. Genotyping with regard to FKBP5 rs9470080, previously linked to cortisol sensitivity, was carried out using Taqman assay.
The baseline data showed that in women, levels of subjective health complaints were highest among those above 50 years of age. Moreover, in women the rs9470080 CC variant at baseline was associated with higher levels of subjective health complaints. However, the effect size was not large, and no relationships were demonstrated between age or genotype and subjective health complaints in men. Also, the study variables were not related to any changes in the levels of subjective health complaints during the follow-up period.
We conclude that our biology such as age and sex, but also single genetic variants found in non-sex chromosomes, may be important in understanding the mechanisms underlying subjective health complaints in the general working population.
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.