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Scand J Public Health. 2002;30(3):191-9.

An explorative, population-based study of female disability pensioners: the role of childhood conditions and alcohol abuse/dependence.

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Karolinska Institutet, Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Social Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden.



This study investigates the association in women between conditions during childhood and adolescence and alcohol dependence or abuse in adulthood on the one hand, and disability pensions and long-term sickness absence on the other.


A stratified population-based sample of women in Göteborg was interviewed. For analyses in this study the following variables were selected from the interview protocol: childhood and adolescence, education, employment, social class, self-rated physical health and alcohol dependence or abuse (ADA), with diagnoses assessed according to DSM-III-R. Information on disability pension and sickness absence was obtained from the local Social Insurance Office.


Unfavourable conditions during childhood and adolescence and school difficulties as well as early deviant behaviours predicted disability pension and long-term sickness absence in adulthood. For most risk factors ADA could explain only a minor part of the odds ratios found in crude and age-adjusted analyses.


It is concluded that conditions early in life are predictors in women of disability pension and long-term incapacity to work. There are similarities in the pattern of early risk factors for later alcohol dependence or abuse and for disability pension/long-term sickness absence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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