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Job specific risk for sick leave due muscoloskeletel disorders or cardiovascular diseases - definition of highly affected jobs for primary prevention

Project number: F 2255 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Completed Project


Goal-oriented prevention requires job specific knowledge of sickness absence. It is well known from epidemiological studies that degenerative musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular diseases frequently occur in specific jobs. But, it is unclear whether and to what extent these diseases are occurring in exposed jobs today considering the current change of working conditions. Latest statistics of work incapacity published by the statutory health insurance are not directly related to the risk of occurrence of specific musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular diseases in specific professions.

The aim of the study is to assess the job specific risk of sickness absence for specific degenerative musculoskeletal diseases (chapter XIII and IX of ICD X) in Germany. The study design is based on a secondary data analysis. Aggregated sickness absence data due to degenerative musculoskeletal and selected cardiovascular disorders (number of sickness absence cases and days) of a recent year will be requested from four statutory health insurances. Data will be stratified by profession (triple digit coding), age (5 age classes from 15 to 65 years) and gender. The age standardized Relative Risks of the occurrence of cases of work disability and sickness absence days will be calculated for all professions.

Other aims are

  • Detection of typical distribution of single diseases in professions
  • Description of age related changes of sickness absence
  • Description of gender related differences of sickness absence
  • In-depth description of frequency and duration of sickness absence due to specific musculoskeletal disorders and cardiovascular diseases Descriptive analyses are the focus of the project.

Focal points for prevention are definable by such job and disease specific analysis of sickness absence data. The size of the affected occupational group and the risk of sickness absence due to musculoskeletal disorders or cardiovascular diseases in the professions are factors, which define the needs for prevention measures for employees in these jobs.



Unit 3.1 "Prevention of Work-related Diseases"

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