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Influence of poor health on exit from paid employment: a systematic review
  1. Rogier M van Rijn1,
  2. Suzan J W Robroek1,
  3. Sandra Brouwer2,
  4. Alex Burdorf1
  1. 1Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Health Sciences, Community and Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Rogier M van Rijn, Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Room Na-2202, P.O. Box 2040, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands; r.vanrijn{at}erasmusmc.nl

Abstract

The objective was to provide a systematic literature review on associations between poor health and exit from paid employment through disability pension, unemployment and early retirement, and to estimate the magnitude of these associations using meta-analyses. Medline and Embase databases were searched for longitudinal studies on the relationship between health measures and exit from paid employment. Random-effects models were used to estimate the pooled effects. In total, 29 studies were included. Self-perceived poor health was a risk factor for transition into disability pension (relative risk (RR) 4.49; 95% CI 3.09 to 6.52), unemployment (RR 1.54; 95% CI 1.25 to 1.91) and early retirement (RR 1.33; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.54). Workers with mental health problems had an increased likelihood for transition into disability pension (RR 1.82; 95% CI 1.26 to 2.64) or unemployment (RR 1.63; 95% CI 1.21 to 2.22). Chronic disease was a risk factor for transition into disability pension (RR 2.42; 95% CI 2.14 to 2.75) or unemployment (RR 1.31; 95% CI 1.14 to 1.50), but not for early retirement. This meta-analysis showed that poor health, particularly self-perceived health, is a risk factor for exit from paid employment through disability pension, unemployment and, to a lesser extent, early retirement. To increase sustained employability it should be considered to implement workplace interventions that promote good health.

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