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Women with arthritis more likely than men to stop working
Date:4/30/2009

ns. More than half of those with arthritis disability reported being out of the labor force, almost 41 percent were unemployed, and 5 percent were unemployed and looking for work. A higher proportion of women were out of the labor 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 labor force. Married women were more likely to continue working, possibly due to the fact that these women may have the option of working part-time, which would be difficult for sole-income earners who may have had to give up employment and receive disability insurance. "Additional research needs to examine in more detail the specific reasons that men and women give up employment and their relationship to family composition and marital status," the authors state.

Not surprisingly, older individuals with arthritis disability were more likely to take early retirement than their younger counterparts. The authors point out, however, that the financial ramifications of retirement may be more serious for those with arthritis disability, since they may have to give up medication coverage and extended health care benefits, they may not be as financially prepared for retirement having often worked reduced hours prior to retiring, and arthritis is often associated with extra financial costs for medications and other expenses.

The study found that greater education was significantly associated with being in the labor force for both men and women and may act as a resource enabling individuals to more easily change or modify their jobs. It also showed that men were more likely to report perceived arthritis-related discrimination than women and were more likely to make changes such as the amount or type of work they performed, which may account for the higher percentage of men remaining in the work force.

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Contact: Sean Wagner
medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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