Multiple chronic health conditions and their link with labour force participation and economic status

Deborah J. Schofield, Emily J. Callander, Rupendra N. Shrestha, Megan E. Passey, Richard Percival, Simon J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To assess the labour force participation and quantify the economic status of older Australian workers with multiple health conditions. Background: Many older people suffer from multiple health conditions. While multiple morbidities have been highlighted as an important research topic, there has been limited research in this area to date, particularly on the economic status of those with multiple morbidities. Methods: Cross sectional analysis of Health&WealthMOD, a microsimulation model of Australians aged 45 to 64 years. Results: People with one chronic health condition had 0.59 times the odds of being employed compared to those with no condition (OR 0.59, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.71), and those with four or more conditions had 0.14 times the odds of being employed compared to those with no condition (OR 0.14, 95% CI: 0.11, 0.18). People with one condition received a weekly income 32% lower than those with no health condition, paid 49% less tax, and received 37% more in government transfer payments; those with four or more conditions received a weekly income 94% lower, paid 97% less in tax and received over 2,000% more in government transfer payments per week than those with no condition. Conclusion: While having a chronic health condition is associated with lower labour force participation and poorer economic status, having multiple conditions compounds the affect - with these people being far less likely to be employed and having drastically lower incomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere79108
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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