The mortality experience among 4,440 applicants for disability pension has been examined during a period of observation of ten years. All applicants were males and had been member of the Danish Semiskilled Workers' Union. The reference group consists of age matched male members of the same union. The applicants for disability pension experienced a considerable excess mortality when compared with the reference group. The higher mortality risk is still present more than ten years after the application has been settled. The persons who were refused disability pension experienced an elevated mortality, too. In opposition to previous studies it is not found informative to put forward a common estimate of the elevated mortality rate because the group of disability applicants is very heterogeneous concerning their mortality experience; the excess mortality is most elevated among persons granted the high level pension, among the youngest, and during the period closest to the award.
Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine, 1988, Vol 16, Issue 4, p. 273-276