Effects of work and lifestyle on risk for future disability pension due to low back diagnoses: a 30-year prospective study of Finnish twins

J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Nov;54(11):1330-6. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182775881.


Objective: To investigate work and lifestyle factors as predictors for disability pension (DP) due to low back diagnoses (LBDs) during a 30-year follow-up.

Methods: Baseline survey data were obtained in 1975 for 16,028 working-age twins followed with register data on DP, emigration, old-age pension, and death until end of 2004; analyzed by Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: Among those at work at baseline, 470 DPs due to LBDs were granted during the follow-up. Monotonous work, lifting and carrying at work or physically heavy work, and unemployment at least once before baseline were significant predictors for DP. A healthy lifestyle was a protective factor for DP. Family background played a role in all these associations.

Conclusion: The factors shared by family members seemed to influence both work and lifestyle factors, which then influenced the incidence of DP due to LBDs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation
  • Diseases in Twins / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Lifting / adverse effects
  • Low Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Pensions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unemployment
  • Workload*