Even mild stress is linked to long-term disability

Mar 23, 2011

Even relatively mild stress can lead to long term disability and an inability to work, reveals a large population based study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

It is well known that are associated with long term disability, but the impact of milder forms of is likely to have been underestimated, say the authors.

Between 2002 and 2007, the authors tracked the health of more than 17,000 working adults up to the age of 64, who had been randomly selected from the population in the Stockholm area.

All participants completed a validated questionnaire (GHQ-12) at the start of the study to measure their mental health and stress levels, as well as other aspects of health and wellbeing.

During the monitoring period, 649 people started receiving disability benefit - 203 for a mental health problem and the remainder for physical ill health.

Higher levels of stress at the start of the study were associated with a significantly greater likelihood of subsequently being awarded long term disability benefits.

But even those with mild stress were up to 70% more likely to receive disability benefits, after taking account of other factors likely to influence the results, such as lifestyle and .

One in four of these benefits awarded for a , such as , angina, and stroke, and almost two thirds awarded for a mental illness, were attributable to stress.

The authors say that it is important to consider their findings in the context of modern working life, which places greater demands on employees, and social factors, such as fewer close personal relationships and supportive networks.

These factors lead them to ask: "Are the strains and demands of modern society commonly exceeding human ability?" And they conclude that while mild stress should not be over-medicalised, their findings suggest that it should be taken more seriously than it is.

Explore further: AMA examines economic impact of physicians

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

21,000 Victorians suffer from work-related depression

Jun 01, 2008

Almost one in six cases of depression among working Victorians are caused by job stress. This means more than 21,000 cases of preventable depression are caused by job stress each year, a new University of Melbourne study ...

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

3 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.