Physical capability in midlife and risk of disability pension and long-term sickness absence: prospective cohort study with register follow-up

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Objective The aim of this study was to determine the association of physical capability with health-related labor market outcomes among older workers. Methods The prospective risk of disability pension and long-term sickness absence (LTSA) of ≥6 weeks was estimated from physical capability on 5076 older workers (age 49-63 years) from the Copenhagen Aging and Midlife Biobank (CAMB). Physical capability was objectively measured through nine different tests (jump performance, postural balance, chair-rise, explosive muscle strength, maximal strength of the hand, back and abdominal muscles, lung capacity, and aerobic fitness) and linked to a high-quality register on social transfer payments among all Danish residents. Cox-regression analyses estimated the association of physical capability with risk of disability pension and LTSA. Results For all measures, low physical capability [≥1 standard deviation (SD) below the mean for each gender] was associated with increased risk of disability pension and/or LTSA, whereas high physical capability (≥1 SD above the mean for each gender) was not. A capability-response association was observed between the number of tests with low capability and disability pension and LTSA (P<0.0001) ≥5 (95% - 12% 3.98-18.25) 42% 8.52 among an analyses and associated attributable average being capability case cases cases. conclusions confidence contribute could disability for in increased increasing indicate interval level low ltsa ltsa. measures midlife objective of older our outcomes, pension physical population potentially predictors present preventing results risk risk-estimate risks shows study tests. that the this to using was were when whereas with workers>40% of premature exits from the labor market.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)610-621
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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