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Determinants in adolescence for adult sickness absence in women and men: a 26-year follow-up of a prospective population based cohort (Northern Swedish cohort)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. (Epidemiologi)
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2013 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 13, 75- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: To date little is known regarding how factors measured in adolescence predict sickness absence in adulthood, and whether different patterns of factors exist for women and men that could contribute to an explanation of adult gender differences in sickness absence. Methods: All pupils in the last year of compulsory school in the municipality of Lulea with complete information from surveys (questionnaires) in 1981 and 1983 (compulsory and upper-secondary schooling; 16 and 18 years of age, N=719) were followed with register data on medically certified sickness absence (1993-2007). Generalised linear models were applied to calculate Risk Ratios with 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) comparing annual mean numbers of sickness absence spells in exposed versus unexposed groups. Results: In the multivariate model, the following factors were found to be predictive of future sickness absence in women: participating in an upper secondary school program in 1983 dominated by women (> 60%): 1.41 (95% CI 1.00 - 1.97); sometimes sickness absence from school in 1981: 1.60 (95% CI 1.18 - 2.17) and low parental socioeconomic status in 1981: 2.20 (95% CI 1.44 - 3.38). In men, low school grades in 1981: 4.36 (95% CI 2.06 - 9.22) and fathers not in gainful employment in 1981: 2.36 (95% CI 1.53 - 3.66) were predictive. Conclusion: The findings suggest that sickness absence in adulthood is predicted by factors measured in adolescence. These predictors may differ for women and men. For women, early life absence and social environmental factors, for men low achievements at school and lack of employment of their father seem to be predictive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 13, 75- p.
Keyword [en]
Sickness absence, Gender, Socio-economic, Parental
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88247DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-75ISI: 000314767800001Local ID: P3043OAI: diva2:611318


Available from: 2013-03-15 Created: 2013-03-12 Last updated: 2013-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Westerlund, Hugo
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