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Laeknabladid. 2007 Jan;93(1):11-4.

[Prevalence of disability in Iceland in December 2005].

[Article in Icelandic]

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To determine the size and main medical and social characteristics of the group of individuals receiving disability benefits in Iceland in December 2005.


The study includes all those receiving disability benefits in Iceland on December 1st 2005 as ascertained by the disability register at the State Social Security Institute of Iceland classified by gender, age and place of residence. Similar information was obtained on the Icelandic population. The prevalence of disability pension was calculated.


On December 1st 2005 the prevalence of disability pension was 8.6% for females (8.0% for the higher and 0.6% for the lower pension level) and 5.5% for males (5.2% for the higher and 0.3% for the lower pension level). For females the prevalence of disability was lower in the capital region than in other regions, but this was not the case for males. The prevalence of disability increased with age. On the whole disability was more common among females than males. Mental and behavioural disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue were the most prevalent causes of disability.


The prevailing trend over the last decade of increasing disability in Iceland has continued. Iceland appears to lag behind the other Nordic countries in the use of vocational rehabilitation and labour marked activation to prevent disability. Ample opportunities to slow down this trend are therefore available by greater emphasis on such measures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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