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Increased Work Disability in Diabetes Due to Comorbidity

Increased risk of work disability mainly attributed to mental, musculoskeletal, circulatory disorders

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Among individuals with diabetes, the increased risk of work disability is mainly due to comorbid mental, musculoskeletal, and circulatory disorders, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in Diabetes Care.

Marianna Virtanen, Ph.D., from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health in Helsinki, and colleagues examined trends of diagnosis-specific work disability after newly diagnosed diabetes among a population aged 25 to 59 years in Sweden in 2006 (14,098 individuals) compared with a random population sample (39,056 individuals). Data were obtained from the National Social Insurance Agency to assess physician-certified sickness absence and disability pension days from 2007 to 2010.

The researchers found that mental and musculoskeletal disorders were the most common causes of work disability, and diabetes was a rare cause for disability. For people with versus those without diabetes, most of the excess work disability was due to mental disorders (mean difference adjusted for confounding factors, 18.8 to 19.8 compensated days/year), musculoskeletal diseases (12.1 to 12.8 days/year), circulatory diseases (5.9 to 6.5 days/year), diseases of the nervous system (1.8 to 2.0 days/year), and injuries (1.0 to 1.2 days/year). Over four years, the disparity in mental disorders first widened and then narrowed, while the difference in other major diagnostic categories was stable.

“For the management of diabetes and the prevention of work disability among people with diabetes, it is highly important to monitor comorbid conditions and pay attention to the most vulnerable socioeconomic groups,” the authors write.

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