Multiple chronic conditions and labor force outcomes: A population study of U.S. adults

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BackgroundAlthough 1-in-5 adults have multiple (≥2) chronic conditions, limited attention has been given to the association between multiple chronic conditions and employment.MethodsCross-sectional data (2011 National Health Interview Survey) and multivariate regression analyses were used to examine the association among multiple chronic conditions, employment, and labor force outcomes for U.S. adults aged 18–64 years, controlling for covariates.ResultsAmong U.S. adults aged 18–64 years (unweighted, n = 25,458), having multiple chronic conditions reduced employment probability by 11–29%. Some individual chronic conditions decreased employment probability. Among employed adults (unweighted, n = 16,096), having multiple chronic conditions increased the average number of work days missed due to injury/illness in the past year by 3–9 days.ConclusionsMultiple chronic conditions are a barrier to employment and increase the number of work days missed, placing affected individuals at a financial disadvantage. Researchers interested in examining consequences of multiple chronic conditions should give consideration to labor force outcomes.Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:943–954, 2015. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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