To investigate changes in the prevalence of disability pension related to obesity in Iceland from 1992 to 2004.
Data were obtained from the disability register of the State Social Security Institute and Statistics Iceland for the years 1992 and 2004. Prevalence of disability pension related to obesity and of disability pension in general was calculated for both years. Statistical significance was assessed by calculating chi square and standardized risk ratios.
From 1992 to 2004 the number of recipients of disability pension with obesity as a primary diagnosis increased from 37 to 111, amounting to 183% increase for females and 263% for males. This increase is significantly greater than the increase in disability pension in general during this period. Age standardized risk ratio showed increased disability related to obesity for both genders. Among males it was greater than the general increase in disability, while among females it was less. There was a significantly greater increase in disability related to obesity in areas outside the capital compared with Reykjavík and surrounding areas among females. The increase in disability related to obesity far surpasses the increase in obesity in the population, according to population surveys, suggesting that severe and morbid obesity may be particularly on the rise.
There has been a significant increase in the prevalence of disability pension related to obesity in Iceland from 1992 to 2004. It is possible that increased social awareness of obesity during the study period has influenced diagnostic habits of physicians and thus increased the use of obesity as a diagnosis in medical certificates and disability assessment. In all likelihood, however, there has been an increase in disabling obesity in Iceland, indicating that obesity is an increasing public health problem demanding appropriate intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity is a major public health problem and a workplace epidemic in Western societies. However, little is known about the association between obesity and job disability in specific occupational groups.
To examine the association between obesity and risk of job disability among firefighters.
A prospective cohort study design was employed in following 358 Massachusetts firefighters enrolled in a statewide medical surveillance program. We prospectively evaluated time to development of adverse employment outcomes >6 years of follow-up.
In multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models, we found that every one-unit increase in body mass index (BMI) was associated with a 5% increased risk of job disability. Compared to firefighters in the lowest tertile of BMI (BMI < 27.2), those in the highest tertile (BMI >or= 30.2) had a significantly increased risk of an adverse employment event with a multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.98 (95% CI 1.06-3.72). There was also a significant dose-response relationship of increasing risk across tertiles, as well as a significant trend: HR 1.39 (95% CI 1.04-1.86). The highest categories of BMI had a 60-90% increased risk of job disability compared to the lowest or normal-weight categories, respectively.
Obesity is associated with higher risk of job disability in firefighters. Additional research is needed to further explore our findings. Our study may have economic and public health implications in other occupational settings.
Occupational Medicine 07/2008; 58(4):245-50. DOI:10.1093/occmed/kqm153 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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