Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2020;46(4):382-391    pdf full text


Risk of being granted disability pension among incident cancer patients before and after a structural pension reform: A Danish population-based, matched cohort study

by Pedersen P, Aagesen M, Tang LH, Bruun NH, Zwisler A-D, Stapelfeldt CM

Objective This study aimed to examine the risk of being granted a disability pension (DP) among incident cancer patients up to five years after diagnosis compared to a match control group, before and after the structural reform of the Danish Disability Pension Act in 2013.

Methods All 20–60-year-old incident cancer-diagnosed individuals from 2000 to 2015 were identified in the Danish Cancer Registry. A control group, not previously diagnosed with cancer, was identified in Statistics Denmark matched by gender, age, education, and household income. Risk differences (RD) in cumulative incidence proportions of being granted a DP between cancer patients and controls were analyzed before and after the reform.

Results In total, 111 773 incident cancer patients and 506 904 controls were included in the study. Before reform 10 561 cancer patients and 11 231 controls were granted DP; and 2570 cancer patients and 2646 controls were granted DP after the reform. The adjusted RD of being granted DP was significantly higher for cancer patients versus controls at all time points before the reform. The RD increased the most during the first (RD 3.6, 95% CI 3.5–3.7) and second (RD 7.2, 95% CI 7.0–7.4) follow-up year and levelled off the remaining three years. After the reform, the adjusted RD were lower for all 1–5 follow-up years compared to before the reform (RD range 2.8–7.7, 95% CI 2.6–8.1).

Conclusion The 2013 reform of the Disability Pension Act reduced the risk of cancer patients being granted DP. The impact on a personal level should be further explored.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2013;39(1):76-87