Accounting for the Historical Rise in Work-Disability Prevalence

The growth in prevalence of functional disability among adults is commonly and uncritically attributed to changes in demographic, medical, and socioeconomic factors. Detailed analysis of self-reported work disability over the past 25 years shows that two-thirds of such disability is attributable to the growing prevalence of chronic diseases. Even as mortality rates continue to fall, the health status of adult Americans may be deteriorating.

Author(s): Thomas N. Chirikos

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Volume 64, Issue 2 (pages 271–301)
Published in 1986