Long-term sickness absence trajectories among ageing municipal employees – the contribution of social and health-related factors

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkelijulkaisuArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


The ageing work force is heterogeneous, following distinct development in work ability. This study aims to identify trajectories of long-term sickness absence (SA) in later careers and to examine potentially modifiable factors associated with the development of SA.

Data comprised of municipal employees of the city of Helsinki aged 50–60 years during 2004–2018 (N = 4729, 80% women). The developmental trajectories of long-term (> 10 working days) SA were examined with Group-based trajectory modelling (GBTM) using SA records of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland during 2004–2018. All-cause and diagnosis-specific (mental disorder– and musculoskeletal disease–related) SA days were analysed. The association of social and health-related factors with trajectory membership was examined using multinomial logistic regression (odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals).

A model with three trajectories was selected for both all-cause and diagnosis-specific SA. Regarding all-cause long-term SA trajectories, 42% had no long-term SA, 46% had low levels of SA, and 12% had a high rate of SA during follow-up. Lower occupational class, reporting smoking, overweight or obesity, moderate or low leisure-time physical activity, and sleep problems were associated with a higher likelihood of belonging to the trajectory with a high rate of SA in both all-cause and diagnosis-specific models.

Most ageing employees have no or little long-term SA. Modifiable factors associated with trajectories with more SA could be targeted when designing and timing interventions in occupational healthcare.
LehtiBMC Public Health
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaJulkaistu - 26 heinäk. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä, vertaisarvioitu


  • 3142 Kansanterveystiede, ympäristö ja työterveys

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