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Arthritis Affects Male and Female Workers Differently

Last Updated: May 08, 2009.

Roughly half of individuals with arthritis disability may be out of the labor force, and arthritis may influence men's and women's employment experience in different ways, according to research published in the May 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Roughly half of individuals with arthritis disability may be out of the labor force, and arthritis may influence men's and women's employment experience in different ways, according to research published in the May 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Simone A. Kaptein, Ph.D., of the Toronto Western Research Institute in Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from the Canadian Participation and Activity Limitation Survey, which was designed to elicit information on the employment profiles of people with disabilities. The authors estimated that 2.3 percent of adults ages 25 to 64 years had arthritis disability.

More than half -- 54 percent -- reported that they were out of the labor force, with a higher proportion of women than men out of the labor force (56.2 versus 49.6 percent). Employed men with arthritis-related disability needed less workplace accommodation and had fewer activity limitations. However, men were more likely to report arthritis-related discrimination, and they were more likely to make changes at work, such as shifting the types of work they did.

"These results highlight the need for greater attention to differences in gender roles that may influence the impact of arthritis in the lives of women and men. They also suggest that gender should be considered when designing workplace interventions in order to be sensitive to the potentially different needs of women and men," the authors conclude.

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