Work environment and disability pension - an 18-year follow-up study in a Norwegian working population
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScandinavian Journal of Public Health. 2013, 41 (6), 587-596. 10.1177/1403494813486965
Aims: To investigate the associations between work environment indicators and health- related work disability. Methods: A health survey of 5,749 working 40–42-year-old Norwegians from Nordland County were linked to a national register for disability pension during a follow-up of over 18 years. The risk for disability pension following various self-reported physical and psychosocial work environmental exposures (individual and cumulative) were estimated using Cox regression analysis. Results: Both cumulative physical and psychosocial work environmental exposures were associated with an increased risk for disability pension, although this association was attenuated for most variables after adjusting for health and education. An increase in five poor psychosocial work environmental exposures was associated with a 22% increased risk for disability (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR, 1.22, 95% CI 1.04–1.44), whereas a similar increase in five poor physical work environmental exposures was associated with a 29% increased risk (aHR, 1.29, 95% CI 1.16-1.44). There were no indications of statistical interaction between either sex or education and work exposures. Conclusions: People who report a poor work environment are at a higher risk for subsequent work disability. This finding suggests that improving working conditions may be an area of intervention in order to reduce the number of people who leave the labour market with a disability pension.