Background: To assess the intersection of work demands, chronic medical and musculoskeletal conditions, aging, and disability, we initiated a longitudinal study of construction roofers who were current union members between the ages of 40 and 59.
Methods: Participants were asked about the presence of medical conditions and musculoskeletal disorders; the Work Limitations Questionnaire, the SF-12, and other validated assessments of social and economic impact of injury were included.
Results: Factors at baseline that predicted leaving for a health-related reason were older age, lower physical functioning, work limitations, and having missed work. Those who left roofing for a health-related reason were much more likely to have a lower economic score at the 1 year interview.
Conclusions: Medical and musculoskeletal conditions are strongly associated with work limitation, missed work, and reduced physical functioning; these factors are also associated with premature departure from the workforce.
2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.