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Adverse perinatal conditions and receiving a disability pension early in life.

Journal article
Authors Fredinah Namatovu
Erling Häggström Lundevaller
Lotta Vikström
Nawi Ng
Published in PloS one
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages e0229285
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages e0229285
Language en
Subject categories Public health science, Community medicine, Public health medicine research areas


The number of young adults on disability pension (DP) is increasing in European countries, creating a need to understand the related risk factors. This study aimed to determine whether adverse perinatal conditions are associated with receiving a DP early in life.This longitudinal cohort study consisted of all persons (N = 453,223) born in Sweden during 1973-1977, observed from 1991 through 2010 when they were aged between 16 and 37 years. Statistics Sweden provided linked national data on the children and their parents. We used logistic regression to assess the association between perinatal health conditions (birth defect, Apgar score, and small for gestational age) and receiving a DP, adjusting for maternal education and the sex of the child.New recipients of DP were significantly more likely to have had a birth defect (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.74, 95% CI: 2.49-3.00), to have had low Apgar score (AOR 2.12, 95% CI: 1.77-2.52), to have been small for gestational age (AOR 1.73, 95% CI: 1.54-1.94) and to be females (AOR 1.55, 95% CI: 1.46-1.64). Higher maternal education was associated with lower odds of receiving a DP (AOR 0.74, 95% CI: 0.69-0.79) for those with high school education and (AOR 0.67, 95% CI: 0.59-0.75) for those with university education. Age-stratified analysis confirmed increased odds of receiving a DP among those with birth defects and small for gestational age, but this effect reduced with increasing age. Apgar score was significantly associated with starting to receive a DP at ages 16-18 and 19-29, but not at ages 30-33. Women had lower odds of receiving a DP at ages 16-18 (AOR 0.73, 95% CI: 0.64-0.85); however, this reversed from age 19 and upwards (AOR 1.53, 95% CI: 1.41-1.67) and (AOR 2.16, 95% CI: 1.95-2.40) for the age groups of 19-29 and 30-33, respectively. Persons with high maternal education were less likely to receive a DP regardless of age at receiving a DP.Having a birth defect was the strongest indicator of receiving a DP during early adulthood, followed by small for gestational age and low Apgar score. Overall, the effects of the studied perinatal health conditions were pronounced in those who received a DP at 16-18 years, but this effect weakened with increasing age at receiving a DP. Our findings suggest that policies and programs geared at promoting optimal health at birth might contribute to a reduction in receiving a DP.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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