Disability retirement and all-cause mortality in ages 65–70: A comparison of Finnish speakers and Swedish speakers in Finland
Keywords:disability pension, mortality, ethnolinguistic groups, population data, Finland
Swedish speakers in Finland have higher life expectancy and lower disability retirement rates than Finnish speakers. Although disability retirement is an important mortality predictor, no previous study has analysed the ethnolinguistic mortality gradient in light of the difference in disability pension receipt. We study how being a disability pensioner in ages 50–64 relates to mortality in ages 65–70 and whether the two ethnolinguistic groups differ in this respect. We use Cox regressions on longitudinal population register data covering 1987–2011. Disability pensioners have a mortality hazard that is about twice that of employed persons. We find this pattern to be highly similar for both ethnolinguistic groups. Our results highlight that in order to understand mortality variation across population subgroups, adequate control for previous labour market position is needed. The Finnish welfare system seems to respond appropriately in identifying disability pensioners with equally impaired health in both ethnolinguistic groups.
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