Aims: This study investigates the association in women between conditions during childhood and adolescence and alcohol dependence or abuse in adulthood on the one hand, and disability pensions and long-term sickness absence on the other.
Methods: A stratified population-based sample of women in Göteborg was interviewed. For analyses in this study the following variables were selected from the interview protocol: childhood and adolescence, education, employment, social class, self-rated physical health and alcohol dependence or abuse (ADA), with diagnoses assessed according to DSM-III-R. Information on disability pension and sickness absence was obtained from the local Social Insurance Office.
Results: Unfavourable conditions during childhood and adolescence and school difficulties as well as early deviant behaviours predicted disability pension and long-term sickness absence in adulthood. For most risk factors ADA could explain only a minor part of the odds ratios found in crude and age-adjusted analyses.
Conclusion: It is concluded that conditions early in life are predictors in women of disability pension and long-term incapacity to work. There are similarities in the pattern of early risk factors for later alcohol dependence or abuse and for disability pension/long-term sickness absence.