Objectives This study presents an investigation of first-time decisions regarding work injury annuity due to occupational disease. Focus is a number of potential underlying factors behind the gender gap, where women are disadvantaged, in the granting of work injury annuity.
Methods All 99 subjects (80 men and 19 women) who met the conditions of long-lasting reduction of work ability due to occupational disease (not occupational accident) in the Swedish Work Injury Insurance Act and were granted work injury annuity in 2010, together with a random sample of 118 subjects (55 men and 63 women) who were denied annuity in the same year, were selected for analysis. Each subject's case file from the Social Insurance Agency was examined with regards to cause of disease, diagnosis and the Social Insurance Agency's management and decision making of claims. The data were analysed by logistic regression analysis.
Results Men had a higher probability of being granted work injury annuity than women for musculoskeletal disorders (OR 4.16), mental disorders (OR 7.93) and diseases in other diagnostic chapters (OR 3.65). After adjustment for age, country of birth, diagnosis, work exposure factors and decision support factors, the higher probability for men of being granted work injury annuity remained (full model: OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.20 to 5.94).
Conclusions Actions are necessary in order to establish equitable and gender-neutral treatment of work injury insurance claims. There is a need for more detailed knowledge of exposures in female-dominated jobs and the relationship between these exposures and occupational disease.
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