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Joint Association of Overweight and Common Mental Disorders With Diagnosis-Specific Disability Retirement

A Follow-Up Study Among Female and Male Employees

Svärd, Anna, MD; Pipping, Hugo, BM; Lahti, Jouni, PhD; Mänty, Minna, PhD; Rahkonen, Ossi, PhD; Lahelma, Eero, PhD; Lallukka, Tea, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 11 - p 979–984
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001409

Objective: We examined the joint association of overweight and CMDs (common mental disorders) with diagnosis-specific disability retirement among midlife employees.

Methods: Baseline surveys (n = 8960, response rate 67%) were linked with registers of the Finnish Centre of Pensions. We calculated the hazard ratios (HRs) for disability retirement due to any, musculoskeletal, and mental diagnoses according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) with Cox regression analysis (mean follow-up 8.3 years) among normal-weight (body mass index 18.5 to 25 kg/m2) and overweight (≥25 kg/m2) participants with or without CMD (General Health Questionnaire-12 score ≥3).

Results: Overweight was associated with disability retirement due to any and musculoskeletal diagnoses and CMD with any and mental diagnoses. The risk for disability retirement was additively higher for those with both overweight and CMD.

Conclusion: Preventing overweight and CMD, and especially considering those with both conditions simultaneously, likely helps maintain work ability.

Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Svärd, Pipping, Drs Lahti, Mänty, Rahkonen, Lahelma, Lallukka); Department of Research, Development and Innovation, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Vantaa and Espoo, Finland (Dr Mänty); Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland (Dr Lallukka).

Address correspondence to: Anna Svärd, MD, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, P.O. Box 20 (Tukholmankatu 8B), University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland (

AS was supported by Finska Läkaresällskapet. JL was supported by the Academy of Finland (Grant #1294566). MM was supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (grant #115182) and the Juho Vainio Foundation. OR was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant #1294514) and the Juho Vainio Foundation. EL was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant #1257362). TL was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant #287488 and #294096).

Svärd, Pipping, Lahti, Maäty, Rahkonen, Lahelma, and Lallukka have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine