Background: In addition to being the leading cause of death, cardiovascular disease (CVD) also impacts upon the ability of individuals to function normally in everyday activities, which is likely to affect individuals' employment. This paper will quantify the relationship between labour force participation, CVD and being in poverty.
Methods: The 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) data were used to assess the impact of having CVD on being in poverty amongst the older working aged (aged 45 to 64) population in Australia.
Results: Those not in the labour force with no chronic health condition are 93% less likely to be in poverty than those not in the labour force due to CVD (OR 0.07, 95%CI: 0.07-0.07, p<.0001). The likelihood of being in poverty varies with labour force status for those with CVD: those who were either in full time (OR 0.04, 95% CI: 0.04-0.05, p<.0001) or part time (OR 0.19, 95% CI: 0.18-0.19) employment are significantly less likely to be in poverty than those who have had to retire because of the condition.
Conclusions: The efforts to increase the labour force participation of individuals with CVD, or ideally prevent the onset of the condition will likely improve their living standards. This study has shown that having CVD and not being in the labour force because of the condition drastically increases the chances of living in poverty.
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