Diabetes did not increase early retirement

February 20, 2018, University of Jyväskylä

A Finnish study examined diabetes and work loss due to early retirement during the work careers of approximately 13,000 people.

The findings were exciting – and somewhat surprising. Those with a diagnosis of had fewer work-loss years than those without such a diagnosis. Among those who retired early, the ones with diabetes worked, on average, two years longer than did the ones without diabetes.

The study was based on the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study which includes people born in Helsinki between 1934 and 1944. Retirement was followed up on between 1971 and 2011. During that time, about 63 percent of the cohort members transitioned to disability, unemployment or part-time pension, or died before receiving their pension. Of the cohort, 37 percent transitioned to an old-age pension. The findings were similar for men and women. The cohort members have been followed up from the ages of 20 to 30 and information from multiple unique Finnish registers have been combined to these data.

"In previous studies, the follow-ups have been shorter and thus the long-term consequences of diabetes on work careers have been less well studied," says Docent Mikaela von Bonsdorff from the University of Jyväskylä. "In our study, 7.5 percent of the men and 4.3 percent of the women had a record of diabetes at some point during their working careers. The information on diabetes was extracted from inpatient and outpatient records and from purchases and special reimbursements of . The first records of diabetes date back to 1964."

In the study, one main interest was on work-loss years. Thus, before retirement was also explored. Of the cohort, almost eight percent died before transitioning to their pension. Almost a third transitioned to a disability pension. The leading causes of disability were mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular diseases.

"In earlier studies, the consequences of diabetes were primarily investigated around the retirement transition," says Professor Johan Eriksson from the University of Helsinki, "which might influence the findings in a significant way."

Diabetes research has a long tradition in Finland. High-impact Finnish diabetes research has been conducted from the 1980s onwards. Findings from these studies have influenced the national diabetes treatment and prevention programs.

"It should be noted, however, that the under-diagnosis of diabetes is about 20 percent to 50 percent," von Bonsdorff and Eriksson say. "Type 2 diabetes is often first detected in healthcare check-ups or it might be a chance finding."

"Our findings indicate that comprehensive diabetes care is beneficial not only for the individual but also for society," says Eriksson. "Recent findings from a Danish study (STENO-2 follow-up) show that type 2 diabetes did not increase premature mortality, provided that the disease was treated properly. This supports our present findings."

Explore further: Is the length of work careers determined in utero?

More information: Mikaela B. von Bonsdorff et al. Work-loss years among people diagnosed with diabetes: a reappraisal from a life course perspective, Acta Diabetologica (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s00592-018-1119-x

Related Stories

Is the length of work careers determined in utero?

April 13, 2015
Low weight at birth increased the risk of disability pension among men, reveals a new Finnish study published in the PLoS One. Around 20% of the cohort members born in 1934–44 retired on a disability pension between 1971 ...

Diabetes impacts mortality in breast cancer patients

January 26, 2018
(HealthDay)—Breast cancer-specific mortality remains higher among women with diabetes who have longer diabetes duration or preexisting cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Diabetes Care.

Increased work disability in diabetes due to comorbidity

August 12, 2015
(HealthDay)—Among individuals with diabetes, the increased risk of work disability is mainly due to comorbid mental, musculoskeletal, and circulatory disorders, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in Diabetes Care.

Higher β-blocker dose linked to lower mortality risk

November 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—An increased β-blocker dose is associated with a greater prognostic advantage in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) and diabetes than in those with CHF but no diabetes, according to a study published ...

Link between diabetes, antibiotic use called into question

December 5, 2017
(HealthDay)—Previous findings that systemic use of antibiotics increases the risk of diabetes may actually be explained by clinical and lifestyle factors, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in Diabetes, Obesity ...

Arterial stiffness linked to incidence of diabetes

October 29, 2017
(HealthDay)—Increased arterial stiffness, as measured by carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (c-f PWV), is associated with increased incidence of diabetes, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in Diabetes Care.

Recommended for you

Belly fat promotes diabetes under orders from liver

March 21, 2018
The fat that builds up deep in the abdomen—more than any other type of body fat—raises the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Researchers have known that abdominal fat becomes dangerous when it becomes inflamed ...

Consuming low-calorie sweeteners may predispose overweight individuals to diabetes

March 18, 2018
Consumption of low-calorie sweeteners could promote metabolic syndrome and predispose people to prediabetes and diabetes, particularly in individuals with obesity, a new study on human fat-derived stem cells and fat samples ...

Are high blood glucose levels an effect rather than the cause of diabetes?

March 15, 2018
Insulin resistance and elevated blood glucose levels are considered to be the cause of type 2 diabetes. However, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital have now provided ...

Smoking linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes

March 15, 2018
The prevalence of diabetes has increased almost 10-fold in China since the early 1980s, with one in 10 adults in China now affected by diabetes. Although adiposity is the major modifiable risk factor for diabetes, other research ...

Social support and machine learning are at the core of a student-developed app for people with diabetes

March 14, 2018
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., and nearly 10 percent of the population suffers from this chronic disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Toxic proteins and type 2 diabetes

March 9, 2018
Nearly a half-billion people worldwide live with type 2 diabetes. Yet despite the disease's sizeable and increasing impact, its precise causes remain murky. Current scientific thinking points to two key processes: insulin ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.