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