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What is the association between sickness absence, mortality and morbidity?

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare BambraORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This paper examines the area-level relationships in England and Wales between sickness absence (‘incapacity benefit’), mortality and morbidity. It uses a random sample of incapacity benefit claims, and population counts of mortality and Census morbidity for local government districts. Although there is little correspondence between sickness absence claims by specific cause and mortality, all cause sickness absence has a strong relationship with all cause mortality (male r 0.74, p=0.00; female r 0.64, p=0.00) and it also has a very strong relationship with the Census measures of morbidity: LLTI (male r 0.98, p=0.00; female r 0.97, p=0.00) and ‘not good health’ (male r 0.99, p=0.00; female r 0.96, p=0.00). Incapacity benefit claims by all causes has the potential to provide an ongoing measure of area-level health in England and Wales.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bambra C, Norman P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health & Place

Year: 2006

Volume: 12

Issue: 4

Pages: 728-733

Print publication date: 01/12/2006

Online publication date: 22/04/2005

Date deposited: 04/02/2017

ISSN (print): 1353-8292

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2054

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2005.02.008


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