Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Health-Related and Sociodemographic Risk Factors for Disability Pension due to Low Back Disorders: A 30-Year Prospective Finnish Twin Cohort Study

Pietikäinen, Sanna MSc; Silventoinen, Karri PhD; Svedberg, Pia PhD; Alexanderson, Kristina PhD; Huunan-Seppälä, Antti MD; Koskenvuo, Karoliina PhD; Koskenvuo, Markku PhD, MD; Kaprio, Jaakko PhD, MD; Ropponen, Annina PhD, EurErg

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 5 - p 488–496
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31821576dd
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: CME Available for this Article at

Objectives: To investigate health-related and sociodemographic risk factors for disability pensions (DP) due to low back disorders (LBD).

Methods: Questionnaire data in 1975 of the Finnish Twin Cohort Study with record linkage to information on DP due to LBD from the official pension registers during follow-up 1975 to 2004 was analyzed with Cox proportional hazard models.

Results: Musculoskeletal pain (Hazards Ratio [HR] = 2.36 to 2.39; 95% CI 1.97 to 2.88), smoking (HR = 1.82; 1.49 to 2.22), frequent analgesics use (HR = 1.67; 1.38 to 2.02), and presence of other chronic disease (HR = 1.44; 1.22 to 1.70) increased the risk for DP due to LBD. Years of education decreased the risk (HR = 0.81; 0.77 to 0.85). Associations remained significant when adjusted for familial background.

Conclusions: Health-related and sociodemographic risk factors for DP due to LBD can be identified early in life, and they seem independent from familial effects.

From the Ergonomics, Institute of Biomedicine, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio (Ms Pietikäinen and Dr Ropponen) and Population Research Unit, Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Helsinki (Dr Silventoinen), Finland; Division of Insurance Medicine, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden (Drs Svedberg and Alexanderson); and Research Department, The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Dr Koskenvuo), Department of General Practice, University of Tampere, Tampere (Dr Huunan-Seppälä), Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki (Drs Silventoinen, K. Koskenvuo, M. Koskenvuo, and Kaprio), Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare (Dr Kaprio) and Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki (Dr Kaprio), Finland.

Address correspondence to: Annina Ropponen, PhD, University of Eastern Finland, School of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, PO Box 1627, Kuopio 70211, Finland (

Authors Annina Ropponen, Sanna Pietikäinen, Karri Silventoinen, Pia Svedberg, Kristina Alexanderson, Antti Huunan-Seppälä, Karoliina Koskenvuo, Markku Koskenvuo, and Jaakko Kaprio have no financial interest related to this research.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine