[Prevalence of disability pension related to obesity in Iceland 1992-2004].
ABSTRACT 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.
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