Number of persons on disability pension is increasing in many countries. So far the nowledge on risk for disability pension in a population over time is very limited.
To estimate the cumulative probability of disability pension among women and men in different age groups over a 12-year period.
A population-based prospective longitudinal cohort study. All the 229,864 sick-insured individuals, aged 16–64 years in the Swedish County of Östergötland in 1984 who then had no disability or old age pension were followed to 1996. The following data was obtained for each of the 12 years for all the individuals: disability pension status, old-age retirement status, and date of death. The probability of being granted disability pension over the study period was estimated using life tables. The risk for disability pension was modelled as a function of sex and age using a Cox's proportional hazards model. 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
The cumulative estimates of the probability (in %) of being granted disability pension over 5 years adjusted for mortality and age retirement were, respectively 0.3, 0.9, 1.8, 6.3, and 22.8 for men and 0.4, 1.4, 3.2, 9.2, and 21.5 for women in the age groups 16–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–54, and 55–64 years. The probabilities increased much over the years, more so for the women. The hazard ratios of disability pension for women vs. men were 1.6 (1.4–1.8), 1.9 (1.7–2.0), 1.7 (1.6–1.8), 1.2 (1.2–1.3), and 0.9 (0.9–0.9) in the same five age groups.
There were significant both age and sex differences in the risk of being granted disability pension. The former was expected but that the later was so large and differed with ages was not expected. Except for the age group 55–64 years, women had a higher risk of disability pension than men. More knowledge is needed on factors affecting this.
12th EUPHA conference: Urbanisation and Health: New Challenges in Health Promotion and Prevention. Oslo, 7-9 October 2004.