The aim of this study is to evaluate the age- and diagnosis-specific incidence of disability pensions awarded within a large group of working men. The study population is the 228,612 male members, aged 20-64, of Denmark's largest trade union, the Semi-skilled Workers' Union (SID), of which two thirds of the so-called unskilled male workers are members. In all 4838 awarded disability pensions were registered in the period April 1, 1973--March 31, 1976 against 3787 expected, i.e. an excess of 31.7%. The incidence rates increases more rapidly with age for the SID-men than for all men in Denmark. The Standard Disability Ratio(SDR) is found to be over 100 for all major diagnoses. The highest SDRs are found for major diagnoses of the respiratory system (183.9) and of the musculoskeletal system (169.2). For these diagnoses a "wear syndrom" is suggested, where small handicaps combined with demands for strenuous work cause a considerable reduction in capacity to work. Regional differens in the 3-year incidence of disability pensions are found. In all 15 counties, except one, significantly more disability pensions are found to have been awarded to SID-men than expected. The highest SDRs can be found within the large branches in the Copenhagen area.
Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine. Supplementum, 1980, Vol 16, p. 17-27