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Social Support as a Predictor of Disability Pension: The Finnish Health 2000 Study

Sinokki, Marjo MD; Hinkka, Katariina PhD, MD; Ahola, Kirsi PhD; Gould, Raija PhD; Puukka, Pauli MSoc Sc; Lönnqvist, Jouko PhD, MD; Virtanen, Marianna PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 7 - p 733-739
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181e79525
Original Articles

Objective: Social support at work and in private life was examined as a predictor of disability pension in the population-based Finnish Health 2000 study.

Methods: Social support was measured in a nationally representative sample comprising of 3414 employees aged 30 to 64 years. Disability pensions extracted from the registers of the Finnish Centre for Pensions were followed up across 6 years.

Results: Low social support from supervisors was associated with disability pension with an odds ratio of 1.70 (95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 2.38) when adjusted with sociodemographic and health behavior variables. After adjustment for baseline perceived health, the associations between supervisor support and disability pension strongly attenuated.

Conclusions: Low social support from supervisors predicts forthcoming work disability but the relationship is affected by self-reported nonoptimal health at baseline.

From the Turku Centre for Occupational Health (Dr Sinokki); Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Dr Hinkka), Turku, Finland; Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Dr Ahola, Dr Virtanen); The Finnish Centre for Pensions (Dr Gould); National Institute for Health and Welfare (Mr Puukka), Turku, Finland and (Dr Lönnqvist), Helsinki, Finland; and Department of Psychiatry (Dr Lönnqvist), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Address correspondence to: Marjo Sinokki, MD, Turku Centre for Occupational Health, Hämeenkatu 10, FI-20500 Turku, Finland; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine