Examining the relationship between chronic conditions, multi-morbidity and labour market participation in Canada: 2000-2005

Peter Matthew Smith, Cynthia Chen, Cameron Mustard, Amber Bielecky, Dorcas Beaton, Selahadin Ibrahim

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Relatively little attention has been paid to understanding and addressing the potential health-related barriers faced by older workers to stay at work. Using three representative samples from the Canadian Community Health Survey, we examined the relationship between seven physical chronic conditions and labour market participation in Canada between ???? and ????. We found that all conditions were associated with an increased probability of not being able to work due to health reasons. In our adjusted models, heart disease was associated with the greatest probability of not working due to health reasons. Arthritis was associated with the largest population attributable fraction. Other variables associated with not being able to work due to health reasons included older age, female gender and lower educational attainment. We also found particular combinations of chronic conditions (heart disease and diabetes; and arthritis and back pain) were associated with a greater risk than the separate effects of each condition independently. The results of this study demonstrate that chronic conditions are associated with labour market participation limitations to differing extents. Strategies to keep older workers in the labour market in Canada will need to address barriers to staying at work that result from the presence of chronic conditions, and particular combinations of conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1730 - 1748
Number of pages19
JournalAgeing & Society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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