The cost of illness of the working-age population in the Nordic countries in 2012: A comparison to 1991

Guy Stefan Ahonen, Tiina Pensola, Malin Lohela-Karlsson, Steinar Aesnaess

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


We calculated the cost of illness in 2012 of the working-age population for four Nordic countries in monetary terms, and compared our figures with equivalent data for 1991. We used the same measurement methods as Hansen (1993). On average, we found that the costs have slightly increased in two decades, calculated as euro per labor force per year. The costs of mental health problems in particular have increased, whereas the costs of musculo-skeletal and circulatory diseases have fallen. The observed general increase in early retirement costs may be due to methodological differences. The highest increase in early retirement costs were observed in Denmark. Norway has the highest cost level. Most of the increases in these two countries may, however, be explained by higher labor costs. We also explored whether the inverse relation between sick leaves and early retirement costs, which was dis-covered in the 1991 data, still remained. The relationship was only weak now.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-261-641-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study


  • 511 Economics

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