Publications (22)

  • Anu Polvinen · Mikko Laaksonen · Raija Gould · [...] · Pekka Martikainen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The major aim was to study socioeconomic inequalities in disability retirement due to different diagnostic causes over the period 1988 to 2009. Methods: The register data are 11% sample of people aged 30 to 64 years and living in Finland in 1987 to 2007. Incidence rates were calculated for disability retirement due to different diseases during the follow-up period 1988 to 2009. Results: The incidence of disability retirement decreased in each socioeconomic class from the early 1990s onward. Decreasing absolute socioeconomic inequalities in disability retirement due to any diagnostic cause and musculoskeletal diseases were seen in the period 1988 to 2009. Musculoskeletal diseases were the largest contributor to the overall socioeconomic inequalities in disability retirement throughout the whole study period. Conclusions: The contribution of musculoskeletal diseases to the overall socioeconomic inequalities has been large during the whole study period.
    Article · Aug 2016 · Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Mikko Laaksonen · Jenni Blomgren · Raija Gould
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: To identify subgroups of disability retirees with different pre-retirement sickness allowance histories and to examine whether the diagnosis of disability pension and socio-demographic variables discriminate these subgroups. Methods: The data included all Finnish residents aged 30-64 years who were granted a full disability pension in 2011 (N = 17 208). Sickness allowance trajectories during the preceding 10 years were searched using latent trajectory analysis. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to explore determinants of the trajectories. Results: Six distinct sickness allowance trajectories were identified. Four large subgroups with a long sickness allowance period during the final pre-retirement year were found, characterized by increasing (29% of retirees), early high (21%), stable low (24%) or stable high (16%) sickness allowance histories. In addition, two small subgroups (6 and 4%) with only a little sickness allowance during the final year were identified. The diagnosis of disability pension strongly influenced assignment to the trajectory groups. Women were more likely to have followed the stable high or the early high sickness allowance trajectory. Older age strongly increased but being a lower non-manual employee or self-employed decreased the probability of belonging to the two small trajectory groups. Long-term unemployment slightly increased belonging to the stable low trajectory and was strongly associated with the small subgroups with little or no sickness allowance during the final year preceding retirement. Conclusions: Different pre-retirement sickness allowance trajectories can be found. Assignment to the trajectories differed by the diagnosis of disability pension but associations with socio-demographic variables were weak.
    Article · Jun 2016 · The European Journal of Public Health
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Migrants in Finland are on average young and have good work ability. Still, the unemployment rate of migrants is high compared to the general population. We examined the association between work ability and employment status in Russian, Somali and Kurdish origin populations compared to the general Finnish population. We used data from the Finnish Migrant Health and Well-being Study (Maamu, 2010−2012) and the Finnish Health 2011 Survey. Most unemployed migrants of Russian, Somali and Kurdish origin perceived their work ability to be good and were willing to work. High basic education and lengthy time lived in Finland were associated with good work ability and being employed. Most non-employed migrants of Russian. Somali and Kurdish origin would want full-time employment. The most important perceived obstacles to employment were the attitudes of employers as well as deficiencies in language skills, education and work experience. The migrant population, of whom a great number are willing and able to work, provides a good opportunity to improve the employment rate and dependency ratio in Finland.
    Article · Apr 2016
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objects There is a marked socioeconomic gradient in sickness absences, but the causes of this gradient are poorly understood. This study examined the role of health and work-related factors as determinants of educational differences in long-term sickness absence in an 8-year follow-up. The study comprised a population-based sample of 5835 Finns aged 30-64 years (participation 89%, N=3946) in a register-based 8-year follow-up. This is a novel method to predict the population average of sickness absence days per working year (DWY) based on the expected outcome values using Poisson and gamma regression models. The difference in the DWY between the lowest and highest educational level was clear among both men (3.2 days/year versus 8.0 days/year) and women (women 4.4 days/year versus 10.1 days/year). Adjusting for physical working conditions, health status and health behavior, and obesity attenuated the differences. Psychosocial working conditions had only a minor effect on the association. After adjusting for health and work-related factors, the difference attenuated by 1.8 days and 2.6 days among men and women, respectively. Our results suggest that improvements in physical working conditions and reducing smoking, particularly among employees with a low level of education, may markedly reduce educational differences in sickness absence.
    Full-text available · Article · Apr 2015 · Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
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    A Polvinen · M Laaksonen · R Gould · [...] · P Martikainen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims: Socioeconomic inequalities in both disability retirement and mortality are large. The aim of this study was to examine socioeconomic differences in cause-specific mortality after disability retirement due to different diseases. Methods: We used administrative register data from various sources linked together by Statistics Finland and included an 11% sample of the Finnish population between the years 1987 and 2007. The data also include an 80% oversample of the deceased during the follow-up. The study included men and women aged 30-64 years at baseline and those who turned 30 during the follow-up. We used Cox regression analysis to examine socioeconomic differences in mortality after disability retirement. Results: Socioeconomic differences in mortality after disability retirement were smaller than in the population in general. However, manual workers had a higher risk of mortality than upper non-manual employees after disability retirement due to mental disorders and cardiovascular diseases, and among men also diseases of the nervous system. After all-cause disability retirement, manual workers ran a higher risk of cardiovascular and alcohol-related death. However, among men who retired due to mental disorders or cardiovascular diseases, differences in social class were found for all causes of death examined. For women, an opposite socioeconomic gradient in mortality after disability retirement from neoplasms was found. Conclusions: The disability retirement process leads to smaller socioeconomic differences in mortality compared with those generally found in the population. This suggests that the disability retirement system is likely to accurately identify chronic health problems with regard to socioeconomic status. © 2014 the Nordic Societies of Public Health.
    Full-text available · Article · Dec 2014 · Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
  • Mikko Laaksonen · Raija Gould
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose When it is possible that the employee's work ability can be restored through treatment or rehabilitation, disability pension in Finland is granted for a fixed period. We examined which factors are associated with return to work (RTW) after such temporary disability pension. Methods The study included all Finnish residents whose temporary disability pension from the earnings-related pension system started in 2008 (N = 10,269). Competing risks regression analysis was applied to examine register-based determinants for RTW after temporary disability pension due to mental disorders, musculoskeletal diseases, other diseases, and injury over a 4-year follow-up period. Results The overall cumulative incidence of RTW was 25 %. RTW was more probable after temporary disability pension due to injury and musculoskeletal diseases and less probable after temporary disability pension due to mental disorders. Younger age and higher education increased RTW but differences between genders, private and public sector employees, and occupational classes were relatively small. The probability of RTW was higher among those who were employed before their temporary disability pension (subhazard ratio in multivariate analysis 2.41 (95 % CI 2.13-2.72) and among the 9 % who participated in vocational rehabilitation during their pension [SHR 2.10 (95 % CI 1.90-2.31)]. With some exceptions, the results were fairly similar for all diagnostic causes of temporary disability pension. Conclusion Return to work after temporary disability pension was relatively uncommon. Nevertheless, in all diagnostic groups RTW continued for the whole follow-up period. The low educated and those not employed before temporary disability pension need more support in their RTW. The strong association between vocational rehabilitation and RTW suggests that increasing rehabilitation among those with impaired work ability may promote RTW.
    Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation
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    Anu Polvinen · Mikko Laaksonen · Raija Gould · [...] · Pekka Martikainen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was twofold: to investigate socioeconomic differences in disability retirement (DR) due to major diseases and find out which diseases contribute most to the overall socioeconomic differences in DR. The data were longitudinal register-based (10% sample of Finns) from Statistics Finland. These data included 258 428 participants aged 35-64 years during the follow-up. The participants were employed or unemployed before the follow-up period 1997-2010. Of all participants, 14 303 men and 13 188 women ended up in DR during the follow-up. Socioeconomic status was categorized into upper- and lower-class non-manual employees, manual workers, and self-employed persons. Cox models were used to estimate hazard ratios for DR due to different diseases. Compared to upper-class non-manual employees, DR was especially high for manual workers whose retirement diagnoses included psychoactive substance use, musculoskeletal diseases (MSD), or cardiovascular diseases. Socioeconomic differences in DR were stronger for younger age groups and men versus women. For females and males, the largest part of the excess DR among manual workers compared to upper-class non-manual employees was due to MSD. In the age group 54-64 years, the contribution of MSD to the total excess was >50% among male manual workers and 75% among female manual workers. Excess DR due to mental disorders concerned only 35-54-year-old manual workers (among 23% men and 26% women). The contribution of MSD to the total excess DR among lower socioeconomic groups was large. Prevention of MSD among manual workers would likely reduce socioeconomic differences in DR.
    Full-text available · Article · Dec 2013 · Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
  • Mikko Laaksonen · Raija Gould
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In addition to individual-level characteristics also contextual factors may contribute to the large regional variation seen in disability retirement. We examined the associations of municipality-level characteristics and disability retirement due to all causes, musculoskeletal diseases, mental disorders and other diseases. A register-based study was conducted with a 20% random sample of the Finnish population aged 25-62 years. Municipalities were separately divided into quintiles by their proportion of manual workers, unemployed and industrial employees. Multilevel Poisson regression analysis was applied to examine associations between the three municipality characteristics and disability retirement during a 5-year follow-up. All three municipality-level indicators were associated with disability retirement, but the association between the proportion of industrial workers and disability retirement disappeared after adjustment for age, gender, marital status, socioeconomic position, unemployment and industrial employee status at the individual level. The associations were particularly strong for disability retirement due to musculoskeletal diseases: in the municipalities with the highest proportion of manual workers, the risk for disability retirement due to musculoskeletal diseases was 2.5 times higher than in the municipalities with least manual workers. After adjustment for the individual-level factors, the risk was 1.5 times higher. Cross-level interactions showed that the risk of disability retirement increased with the increasing proportion of unemployment in the municipality only among those who had not experienced unemployment themselves. Municipality-level characteristics made an independent contribution to the probability of disability retirement in particular due to musculoskeletal diseases. Also, area-level characteristics should be considered when targeting disability retirement.
    Article · Sep 2013 · The European Journal of Public Health
  • Mikko Laaksonen · Raija Gould
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to examine between-county differences in disability retirement due to main diagnosis groups and explain these differences by individual-level demographic and work-related factors and municipality-level characteristics. A 20% random sample of the Finnish social insured population aged 25-62 years at the end of 2006 was followed for disability retirement until the end of 2011. Individual-level demographic and work-related covariates were derived from the registers of the Finnish Centre for Pensions and complemented by municipality-level covariates from the national SotkaNet databank. Standardized disability retirement rates were calculated and logistic regression analysis was used to examine between-county differences during the 5-year follow-up. In the county with the highest incidence, disability retirement was nearly twice as common as in the county with the lowest incidence. The between-county differences were larger in disability retirement due to cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases than due to other causes. Adjusting for demographic and work-related characteristics explained a third of the differences. Further adjustment for municipal characteristics explained up to 60% of the differences. However, in regions of Northern and Eastern Finland with the highest incidence of disability retirement, 20-30% excess incidence remained even after all adjustments. Large differences exist in disability retirement between Finnish counties. Disability retirement due to musculoskeletal diseases has the highest impact on the overall differences. Demographic structure and work-related characteristics but also municipality-level characteristics contribute to these differences.
    Article · Jun 2013 · Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims: Socioeconomic differences in disability retirement are large. In this study, the main interest was to find out the contribution of diseases, self-rated health, health behaviours and working conditions to socioeconomic differences in disability retirement. Methods: The data are from the nationally-representative Health 2000 Survey to which register-based retirement data have been linked. These data include 3674 persons aged 30-62 years who were employed at baseline. Of the participants, 363 ended up in disability retirement during the follow-up period 2000-2009. Cox regression analysis was used to calculate hazard ratios and their 95% confidence intervals. Results: The risk of all-cause disability retirement was higher among manual workers (HR for men 2.44, 95% CI 1.64-3.63, women 2.33, 1.57-3.44) than upper-grade non-manual employees. Ill-health and physical working conditions contributed to the socioeconomic differences in disability retirement. The importance of physical working conditions was seen in particular among those aged 50 years or over and those in disability retirement due to musculoskeletal diseases. The contribution of self-rated health was stronger in older than younger disability retirees. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that preventing ill-health and improving working conditions, especially among the lower socioeconomic classes, would help reduce socioeconomic differences in disability retirement.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2013 · Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early retirement due to disability is a public health and work environment problem that shortens working careers. Transition to disability retirement is based on ill-health, but working conditions are also of relevance. We examined the contributions of work arrangements, physical working conditions and psychosocial working conditions to subsequent disability retirement. The data were derived from the Helsinki Health Study cohort on employees of the City of Helsinki, Finland. Information on working conditions was obtained from the baseline surveys conducted in 2000, 2001 and 2002. These data were linked with register data on disability retirement and their main diagnoses obtained from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. Follow up by the end of 2008 yielded 525 disability retirement events. The analysed data included 6525 participants and 525 disability retirement events. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated from Cox regression analysis. Several working conditions showed own associations with disability retirement before adjustment. After adjustment for all working conditions, the primary risk factors for all-cause disability retirement were physical workload among women (HR 2.02, 95% CI 1.57-2.59) and men (HR 2.00, 95% CI 1.18-3.38), and low job control among women (HR 1.60, 95% CI 1.29-1.99). In addition, for disability retirement due to musculoskeletal causes, the risk factors were physical workload and low job control. For disability retirement due to mental causes the risk factors were computer work and low job control. Furthermore, occupational class was a risk factor for disability retirement due to all causes and musculoskeletal diseases. Among various working conditions, those that are physically demanding and those that imply low job control are potential risk factors for disability retirement. Improving the physical working environment and enhancing control over one's job is likely to help prevent early retirement due to disability.
    Full-text available · Article · Apr 2012 · BMC Public Health
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retirement from paid work is a major life event facing increasingly large numbers of people in the coming years. We examined trajectories of mental health five years before and five years after old-age and disability retirement using data on purchases of psychotropic drugs. The study included all employees from the City of Helsinki, Finland, retiring between 2000-2008 due to old age (N=4456) or disability (N=2549). Purchases of psychotropic drugs were analyzed in 20 3-month intervals before and after retirement using graphical methods and growth curve models. Old-age retirement was unrelated to purchases of psychotropic drugs. Among disability retirees, psychotropic medication tripled before retirement. The average increase was 0.95 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.73-1.16] daily defined doses (DDD) 5-1.5 years before retirement; from 1.5 years until retirement it was 5.68 DDD (95% CI 5.33-6.03) for each 3-month interval. After disability retirement, purchases of antidepressants decreased on average by 0.40 DDD (95% CI 0.57-0.23) for each 3-month interval, those of hypnotics and sedatives increased by 0.30 DDD (95% CI 0.12-0.47), and no changes were seen for other psychotropic drugs. The changes before and after retirement were largest among those who retired due to mental disorders and those whose retirement had been granted as temporary. While no overall decrease in psychotropic medication after retirement was observed, purchases of antidepressants decreased after disability retirement. Long-term trajectories suggest that disability retirement might be prevented if mental health problems were tackled more efficiently earlier in the pre-retirement period.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2012 · Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
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    Jenni Blomgren · Helka Hytti · Raija Gould
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Työkyvyttömyyseläkkeelle siirtyneiden työttömyys-ja sairaustausta eri eläkejärjestelmissä Nettityöpapereita 26/2011 Kelan tutkimusosasto
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2011
  • Article · Sep 2010 · Epidemiologia e prevenzione
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social support at work and in private life was examined as a predictor of disability pension in the population-based Finnish Health 2000 study. Social support was measured in a nationally representative sample comprising of 3414 employees aged 30 to 64 years. Disability pensions extracted from the registers of the Finnish Centre for Pensions were followed up across 6 years. Low social support from supervisors was associated with disability pension with an odds ratio of 1.70 (95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 2.38) when adjusted with sociodemographic and health behavior variables. After adjustment for baseline perceived health, the associations between supervisor support and disability pension strongly attenuated. Low social support from supervisors predicts forthcoming work disability but the relationship is affected by self-reported nonoptimal health at baseline.
    Article · Jul 2010 · Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • K Ahola · R Gould · M Virtanen · [...] · J Lönnqvist
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate whether burnout predicts new disability pension at population level during a follow-up of approximately 4 years. The diagnosis for which the disability pension was granted was also examined in relation to the level of burnout. We used a population-based cohort sample (n = 3125) of 30-60-year-old employees from an epidemiological health study, the Health 2000 Study, gathered during 2000-2001 in Finland. The data collection comprised an interview, a clinical health examination including a standardised mental health interview, and a questionnaire including the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey. Disability pensions and their causes until December 2004 were extracted from national pension records. The association between burnout and new disability pension was analysed with logistic regression models adjusted for sociodemographic factors and health at baseline. Altogether 113 persons were granted a new disability pension during the follow-up: 22% of those with severe burnout, 6% of those with mild burnout, and 2% of those with no burnout at baseline. After sociodemographic factors and health were adjusted for, each one-point increase in the overall burnout sum score was related to 49% increase in the odds for a future disability pension. A disability pension was most often granted on the basis of mental and behavioural disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system among those with burnout. After adjustments, exhaustion dimension among men and cynicism dimension among a combined group of men and women predicted new disability pensions. Burnout predicts permanent work disability and could therefore be used as a risk marker of chronic health-related work stress. To prevent early exit from work life, working conditions and employee burnout should be regularly assessed with the help of occupational health services.
    Article · Dec 2008 · Occupational and environmental medicine
  • J P Halonen · M Vaara · P Sainio · [...] · R Tilvis
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Julkaisussa: Terveys ja toimintakyky Suomessa, Terveys 2000 -tutkimuksen perustulokset: Aromaa A, Koskinen S, toim. Kansanterveyslaitos. Helsinki: Hakapaino Oy, Helsinki, 2002: 71-88.
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  • J Blomgren · H Hytti · R Gould
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sosiaalipolitiikan päivät. Helsinki 21.–22.10.2010. Abstrakti, 2010: 16–17.
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  • M Sinokki · K Hinkka · K Ahola · [...] · M Virtanen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: J Occup Environ Med 2010; 52 (7): 733–739.
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  • A Aromaa · R Gould · H Hytti
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Julkaisussa: Aromaa A, Huttunen J, Koskinen S, Teperi J, toim. Suomalaisten terveys. Helsinki: Duodecim, KTL ja Stakes, 2005: 134–148.
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