Disability Pension Not Affected by Family Background

Sociodemographic and health issues affect number of disability claims for low back disorders

MONDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of disability pension (DP) due to low back disorders (LBD) is affected by sociodemographic and health-related factors independent of familial background, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Sanna Pietikäinen, from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues investigated the role of health-related and sociodemographic risk factors for DP for LBD. Questionnaire data were collected in 1975 from the Finnish Twin Cohort Study, which included same-sex twin pairs born in Finland before 1958 with both co-twins alive in 1975. During a 30-year follow-up from 1975 to 2004, these data were linked to information on DP due to LBD available from official pension registers.

The investigators found that the risk for DP due to LBD increased significantly with musculoskeletal pain (hazard ratio, [HR], 2.36 to 2.39), smoking (HR, 1.82), frequent use of analgesics (HR, 1.67), and comorbidity with other chronic diseases (HR, 1.44). A decreased risk was associated with years of education (HR, 0.81). Even after adjusting for familial background, these associations remained significant.

"The current findings indicate that health-related and sociodemographic factors that predict DP due to LBD can be identified early in the life course. Both health-related and sociodemographic factors affect the incidence of DP due to LBD. These risk factors seem to be independent of familial influence," the authors write.

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