Arthritic women more likely to quit jobs than men


Toronto : Women who are suffering from arthritis are more likely to quit working than men, according to the latest study.

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Compared to individuals with other types of chronic diseases or disabilities, arthritis appears to have a more profound effect on a person’s ability to work.

Previous studies have found that about half of those with severe forms of arthritis were not working, leading to a loss of skilled workers.

Led by Simone A. Kaptein of the Toronto Western Research Institute, the study used data from the Canadian Participation and Activity Survey, a national phone survey administered in 2001-2002 to almost 29,000 individuals.

The study analysed responses for almost 9,000 individuals aged between 25 and 64 years. Respondents were questioned about the intensity and frequency of activity limitations, like standing for long periods, bending and picking up objects, climbing stairs, carrying objects, using their fingers, travelling by car and moving about between rooms.

They were also asked whether they needed work place accommodations, what type and whether these were available, as well as questions about workplace discrimination or disadvantage.

The results showed that 2.3 percent of the working-age population had arthritis disability, the second-most frequent cause of disability after back and spine conditions.

More than half of those with arthritis disability reported being out of the labour force, almost 41 percent were unemployed, and five percent were unemployed and looking for work. A higher proportion of women were out of the labour force than men.

Although men with children were more likely to remain employed, in contrast to previous studies, the current study found that single or previously married women were more likely to be out of the labour force, said a Toronto release.

Not surprisingly, older individuals with arthritis disability were more likely to take early retirement than their younger counterparts.

The study was published in the May issue of Arthritis Care & Research.