OBJECTIVES: To study whether educational attainment had less impact on work disability in cancer survivors than in individuals without cancer. To study whether comorbidity had a higher impact on work disability in low-educated cancer survivors than in high-educated and whether this impact differed when compared with individuals without cancer.
METHODS: Linkage of population-based public health survey data and the Danish Cancer Registry formed two groups: cancer survivors (n = 3,514) and cancer-free individuals (n = 171,262). In logistic regression models, the risk of experiencing an 8-week sick leave spell and the granting of disability pension within a 3-year follow-up period was studied in three educational levels and whether these associations were modified by history of cancer and comorbidity. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported.
RESULTS: Non-stratified adjusted risk of experiencing an 8-week sick leave spell (OR: 1.41, 95% CI (1.33-1.49)) or being granted a disability pension (OR: 1.61, 95% CI (1.31-1.97)) was significantly higher in low-educated than in high-educated respondents. Cancer or comorbidity did not significantly interact with education on the risk of work disability.
CONCLUSIONS: A moderate impact of low education on future work disability was found for all respondents, neither history of cancer nor comorbidity modified this association.