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Manual workers are quitters

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Manual jobs increase the risk of stopping work, not only in ankylosing spondylitis but also generally, Dutch researchers have discovered. The recent release of employment statistics for the general population in Holland enabled them to extend a previous study of ankylosing spondylitis and employment and compare their data set against data for the general population.

Previously they had shown in a study of 529 patients with ankylosing spondylitis that those with manual jobs had a higher risk of quitting work with disability (2.3; 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 3.4) than those with a non-manual job, after correction for confounding variables. When now compared with the general population the risk was 4.9 (3.5 to 5.9) for manual workers against 2.2 (1.6 to 2.7) for non-manual workers.

Manual work is therefore a non-specific risk factor for quitting work, conclude the researchers.

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