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Increased risk of long-term sickness absence, lower rate of return to work, and higher risk of disability pension among people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus: a Danish retrospective cohort study with up to 17 years follow-up

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Aim: To evaluate labour market outcomes in type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Methods: Individuals with type 1 (n = 431) and type 2 diabetes (n = 4047) were identified in Danish national registers from 1994 to 2011 and compared with individuals without diabetes (n = 101 295). Multi-state Cox proportional hazards analyses estimated hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for transitions between work, sickness absence, unemployment and disability pension. Results: We observed significantly higher HR of sickness absence in type 1 diabetes (women: 1.34, 95% CI 1.12–1.62; men: 1.43, 1.01–2.03) and type 2 diabetes (women: 1.46, 95% CI 1.35–1.58; men: 1.64, 1.46–1.85) compared with people without diabetes. HR of unemployment was higher for men with type 1 diabetes (1.25, 95% CI 1.01–1.53) and women with type 2 diabetes (1.09, 95% CI 1.03–1.16) and men with type 2 diabetes (1.17, 95% CI 1.08–1.27). HR of disability pension was higher in type 1 diabetes (women: 1.90, 95% CI 1.46–2.46; men: 2.09, 1.38–3.18) and type 2 diabetes (women: 1.78, 95% CI 1.62–1.96; men: 2.11, 1.86–2.40). Only women with type 2 diabetes were less likely to return to work from sickness absence (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.86–0.98) or unemployment (0.89, 95% CI 0.85–0.94). We found no significant difference between the two types of diabetes. Hazard ratios for diabetes regarding unemployment, sickness absence while unemployed and disability pension were significantly higher for men than for women. Conclusions: Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes affect labour market outcomes, but future studies should also consider comorbidity and social gradient.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1861-1865
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019 Diabetes UK.

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