Risk markers of all-cause and diagnosis-specific disability pension--a prospective cohort study of individuals sickness absent due to stress-related mental disorders

BMC Public Health. 2014 Aug 7:14:805. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-805.


Background: Stress-related mental disorders rank among the leading causes of sickness absence in several European countries. The aim of this study was to investigate predictors of all-cause and diagnosis-specific disability pension in sickness absentees with stress-related mental disorders.

Methods: A cohort of 36304 non-retired individuals aged 16-64 years at 31.12.2004 with at-least one sickness absence spell due to stress-related mental disorders (SRMD) initiated in 2005 in Sweden was followed-up with regard to disability pension (2006-2010) by linkage of registers. Uni- and multivariate Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% Confidence Intervals, CI, were estimated using Cox regression for several risk markers.

Results: During the follow-up period, 2735 individuals (7.5%) were granted a disability pension, predominantly due to mental diagnoses (n = 2004, 73.3%). In the multivariate analyses, female sex, age exceeding 35 years, low educational level, being born in a country outside EU25 and Northern Europe, residing outside big cities, living alone, having had a long duration of the first spell due to SRMD (>90 days); mental disorders necessitating frequent specialised health care as well as comorbid somatic disorders were found to be predictive of granting disability pension. Some different patterns emerged for risk factors related to diagnosis-specific disability pension and for younger and older individuals.

Conclusions: Several predictors could be identified as risk markers for disability pension. The variation in the effect of risk markers with regard to age and diagnosis of disability pension speaks in favour of the importance of a person-centered approach in treatment and rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Causality
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pensions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult