Socioeconomic inequalities and disability pension in middle-aged men.
BACKGROUND: The issue of inequalities in health has generated much discussion and socioeconomic status is considered an important variable in studies of health. It is frequently used in epidemiological studies, either as a possible risk factor or a confounder and the aim of this study was to analyse the relation between socioeconomic status and risk of disability pension. METHODS: Five complete birth year cohorts of middle-aged male residents in Malmo were invited to a health survey and 5782 with complete data constituted the cohort in this prospective study. Each subject was followed for approximately 11 years and nationwide Swedish data registers were used for surveillance. RESULTS: Among the 715 men (12%), granted disability pension during follow-up, three groups were distinguished. The cumulative incidence of disability pension among blue collar workers was 17% and among lower and higher level white collar workers, 11% and 6% respectively. With simultaneous adjustment for biological risk factors and job conditions, the relative risk for being granted a disability pension (using higher level white collar workers as reference) was 2.5 among blue collar workers and 1.6 among lower level white collar workers. CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic status, as defined by occupation, is a risk factor for being granted disability pension even after adjusting for work conditions and other risk factors for disease. (+info)
Permanent work incapacity, mortality and survival without work incapacity among occupations and social classes: a cohort study of ageing men in Geneva.
BACKGROUND: The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate the burden of disability and death in men, from middle age to age of retirement, among occupational groups and classes in Geneva. METHODS: Men were included if they resided in the Canton of Geneva, were 45 years of age in 1970-1972, and were not receiving a disability pension at the start of the follow-up. The cohort of 5137 men was followed up for 20 years and linked to national registers of disability pension allowance and of causes of death. RESULTS: There was a steep upward trend in incidence of permanent work incapacity with lower social class for all causes as well as for the seven causes of disability studied. Compared with professional occupations (social class I), the relative risk (RR) of permanent work incapacity was 11.4 for partly skilled and unskilled occupations (class IV+V) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.2-28.0). The social class gradient in mortality was in the same direction as that in work incapacity although much less steep (RR class IV+V to class I = 1.6, 95% CI : 1.1-2.2). Survival without work incapacity at the time of the 65th birthday ranged from only 57% in construction workers and labourers to 89% in science and related professionals. Unemployment in Geneva was below 1.5% during almost all the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Medically-ascertained permanent work incapacity and survival without work incapacity have shown considerably greater socioeconomic differentials than the mortality differentials. (+info)
Longitudinal, population-based study of self reported alcohol habits, high levels of sickness absence, and disability pensions.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: To analyse the relation between self reported hazardous drinking on the one hand and high sickness absence and/or disability pensions in both sexes on the other hand. DESIGN: The study is based on data from a health survey, Stockholm Health of the Population Study, conducted in 1984. The mailed questionnaire covered alcohol consumption. Three different measures of alcohol habits were used: usual alcohol consumption, consumption during the previous week, and answers to the four CAGE questions on problem drinking. Information from the health survey and data from a subsequent health examination were related to information from the National Swedish Social Insurance Board for the year 1984 and the years 1986 to 1991 concerning sick leave and disability pensioning. SETTING: Four primary health care districts in Stockholm County. PARTICIPANTS: The study group included persons who were aged 20 to 52 years in 1984, who answered the questionnaire (by mail or by telephone), and who participated in the health examination. The study group comprised 985 women and 870 men fulfilling the criteria for inclusion out of 6217 subjects aged 18 years and over randomly drawn. MAIN RESULTS: In both sexes, a consistent pattern of increased sickness absence was seen for high consumers and for those with indications of problem drinking. In most comparisons, a clearly increased relative risk, although not always statistically significant, for an average of at least 60 sick days per year or for a disability pension during follow up was found. In multivariate analysis, controlling for age, socioeconomic group, smoking habits, and self reported health, a small reduction in the relative risks was found, suggesting that these factors could explain only a small part of the relative risks. The risks for abstainers were higher than for low and moderate consumers. CONCLUSIONS: The effects of alcohol on subsequent high levels of sickness absence five to seven years after baseline as well as on the occurrence of disability pensions suggested that there is an effect on working incapacity independent of baseline health status, smoking, and socioeconomic group. (+info)
Why do Swedish-speaking Finns have longer active life? An area for social capital research.
We performed ecological and individual register studies to compare disability-free life expectancies and disability pensions among Swedish-speaking and Finnish-speaking Finns residing on the western coast of Finland. The study was conducted to establish our assumption that the Swedish-speaking ethnic minority has a longer active life than the Finnish-speaking majority and to show that this disparity can be seen in a limited geographical area with similar socio-economic and health service structures. We suggest that the observed disparities in active life and in mortality depend on differences in the extent of social capital. A detailed characterization of the social capital and its impact on the health of the Swedish-speaking individuals is in progress. (+info)
Job-based health insurance in 2001: inflation hits double digits, managed care retreats.
Drawing on the results of a national survey of 1,907 firms with three or more workers, this paper reports on several facets of job-based health insurance, including the cost to employers and workers; plan offerings and enrollments; patient cost sharing and benefits; eligibility, coverage, and take-up rates; and results from questions about employers' knowledge of market trends and health policy initiatives. Premiums increased 11 percent from spring 2000 to spring 2001, and the percentage of Americans in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) fell six percentage points to its lowest level since 1993, while preferred provider organization (PPO) enrollment rose to 48 percent. Despite premium increases, the percentage of firms offering coverage remained statistically unchanged, and a relatively strong labor market has continued to shield workers from the higher cost of coverage. (+info)
A flexible benefits tax credit for health insurance and more.
This essay outlines a concept for a "flexible benefits" tax credit for expanding health insurance coverage and other purposes such as retirement savings plans (with potential withdrawals for higher education, first-home ownership, and catastrophic medical expenses). Two examples are presented. The advantages of a flexible benefits tax credit are considered in terms of efficient use of the budget surplus to help meet the varied (and changing) needs of American families, to eliminate major national gaps in health insurance and pension coverage, and to advance other objectives. If the budget surplus is used wisely, political decisionmakers could achieve health insurance coverage for most uninsured workers and children and assure a future with real economic security for American families. (+info)
War pensions (1900-1945): changing models of psychological understanding.
BACKGROUND: War pensions are used to examine different models of psychological understanding. The First World War is said to have been the first conflict for which pensions were widely granted for psychological disorders as distinct from functional, somatic syndromes. In 1939 official attitudes hardened and it is commonly stated that few pensions were awarded for post-combat syndromes. AIMS: To re-evaluate the recognition of psychiatric disorders by the war pension authorities. METHOD: Official statistics were compared with samples of war pension files from the Boer War and the First and Second World Wars. RESULTS: Official reports tended to overestimate the number of awards. Although government figures suggested that the proportion of neurological and psychiatric pensions was higher after the Second World War, our analysis suggests that the rates may not have been significantly different. CONCLUSIONS: The acceptance of psychological disorders was a response to cultural shifts, advances in psychiatric knowledge and the exigencies of war. Changing explanations were both a consequence of these forces and themselves agents of change. (+info)
The role of gender in long-term sickness absence and transition to permanent disability benefits. Results from a multiregister based, prospective study in Norway 1990-1995.
BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to identify predictors for the transition from long-term sickness absence into disability pension with a special focus on gender. METHODS: The study used data from a national database containing a 10% random sample of the Norwegian adult population (The KIRUT database). The study population were all individuals in the database who on 1 January 1990 were eligible for sick pay from the Norwegian National Insurance System: 83,398 men and 75,586 women. Individuals below 60 years with long-term sickness absence starting in 1990 and 1991 were identified, 6,434 men and 8,233 women, and followed up for three years. Background data were used as independent variables in a logistic regression of the probability for receiving disability pension during follow-up. RESULTS: Annual cumulative incidence of long-term sickness absence was 6.5% for women and 4.9% for men. During follow-up, 12.4% of the women and 12.6% of the men received disability pension. Among full-time employed women only 10.3% had become disability pensioners, while the corresponding proportion for women working part-time was 15.5%. For men the figures were 12.1% (full-time) and 18.1% (part-time). In the logistic regression of the whole sample the female odds ratio was insignificant. The dominant predictive factors for disability pension were age and duration of the sickness spells. Working part-time also increased the risk. Higher levels of education and having children below 7 years reduced the probability for disability pension. Separate regressions for men and women showed that the 'protective' effect of having small children only remained for women. (+info)