Comparing the Relationship Between Age and Length of Disability Across Common Chronic Conditions

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to compare the association between age and disability length across common chronic conditions.

Methods:

Analysis of 39,915 nonwork-related disability claims with a diagnosis of arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, depression, low back pain, chronic pulmonary disease, or cancer. Ordinary least squares regression models examined age-length of disability association across chronic conditions.

Results:

Arthritis (76.6 days), depression (63.2 days), and cancer (64.9 days) were associated with longest mean disability lengths; hypertension was related to shortest disability lengths (41.5 days). Across chronic conditions, older age was significantly associated with longer work disability. The age–length of disability association was most significant for chronic pulmonary disease and cancer. The relationship between age and length of work disability was linear among most chronic conditions.

Conclusions:

Work disability prevention strategies should consider both employee age and chronic condition diagnosis.

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