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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Alcohol consumption and risk of unemployment, sickness absence and disability pension in Denmark: A prospective cohort study

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AIMS: We investigated the association between weekly alcohol consumption and binge drinking and the risk of unemployment, sickness absence and disability pension.

DESIGN: Prospective register-based cohort study SETTING: Denmark PARTICIPANTS: A sample of 17,690 men and women, aged 18 to 60 years, from the Danish Health and Morbidity Survey in 2000, 2005 and 2010 participated in the study. Participants worked the entire year prior to baseline.

MEASUREMENTS: Administrative registers were used to obtain information on unemployment, sickness absence and disability pension during a 5-year follow-up period. Data were analysed by multivariate Cox regression model with random effect (frailty) adjusted for cohabitation status, educational level, Charlson comorbidity index, smoking habits, calendar year and geographic region.

FINDINGS: Among males, adjusted hazards ratios (HR) of unemployment were 1.24 (1.05-1.46, p=0.01), 1.28 (1.04-1.59, p=0.02) and 1.48 (1.21-1.81, p=0.00) respectively for abstainers and those with alcohol consumption of 21-27 and ≥28 drinks per week when compared with individuals who had 1-13 drinks per week. Corresponding HRs for sickness absence were 1.16 (1.02-1.33, p=0.03), 1.02 (0.85-1.23, p=0.84) and 1.23 (1.04-1.46, p=0.02). Male abstainers had increased HR for subsequently receiving disability pension. Female abstainers had increased HR of unemployment, sickness absence and disability pension compared to women with moderate alcohol consumption. Binge drinking was associated with higher HR of unemployment compared to non-binge drinking in women: HR of 1.17 (1.01-1.36, p=0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: In Danish men aged 18-60, alcohol abstinence and heavy consumption is associated with increased subsequent risk of unemployment and sickness absence compared with low consumption. In Danish women abstainers have increased risk of unemployment, sickness absence and disability pension, while binge drinkers are more likely subsequently to become unemployed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAddiction
Volume112
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1754-1764
ISSN0965-2140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 50587945