A retrospective analysis of disability and its related costs among employees with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jan;49(1):22-30. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31802db55f.


Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the frequency and cost of disability among actively employed individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective analysis of disability and claims data. Employees 40 to 63 years old with a diagnosis of COPD between January 1, 2001, and March 31, 2004, were identified, and controls were matched 2:1 to these subjects. Likelihood and cost of disability were compared between cohorts.

Results: A total of 2696 controls were matched to 1349 COPD subjects. Mean age was 52 years, and cohorts were approximately 50% male. A significantly (P < 0.0001) greater proportion of COPD subjects used short-term (21.8% vs 7.0%), long-term (2.4% vs 0.4%), or any disability (22.8% vs 7.3%). Associated costs were also higher among COPD subjects (8559 dollars vs 5443 dollars; P = 0.07).

Conclusions: Within a population of actively employed individuals 40 to 63 years old, COPD was found to have a substantial impact on the frequency and cost of disability.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Employment / economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / economics*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States