Risk indicators of disability pension. A 15 year follow-up study

Dan Med Bull. 1999 Jun;46(3):258-62.


Objective: To identify risk indicators for granting of disability pension (DP) during a period of 15 years.

Design: Follow-up study. The initial data were obtained from a health survey in a general population 1977/78. Variables were initially collected through questionnaires and objective measurements. Information about the end-point for the follow-up, granting of DP, was obtained from the Registry for Early Retirement Pension in 1992/93. Data analyses were performed by logistic regression and Cox analyses.

Setting: The Glostrup Population Studies, Glostrup University Hospital and The Danish Committee for the Assessment of Substandard Lives.

Population: General population of 892 persons, born in 1918, 1928, 1938, and 1948, and living in the municipality of Glostrup, Denmark. Eighty-four were granted DP during the 15 years follow-up.

Results: Ninety-six variables from the initial study were analysed, age and 18 variables were found to be risk indicators for DP. These were general health variables, including dyspnoea, colic, nervousness, previous hospitalizations and operations, self-reported poor general health the last year, and low general health risk-score by the doctor. Objective measurements included high Body Mass Index, low peak flow and isometric endurance of the back muscles. Among the occupational variables unemployment and sick leave were found to be risk indicators. In addition, low physical activity in leisure time, self-reported worse physical condition than those at the same age and smoking were also identified as risk indicators.

Conclusion: The main indicators for granting of DP can be covered by the heading poor physical condition and general health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Denmark
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pensions*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors