Long-term health problems rife in UK firms

The UK has one of the highest proportions of workers with long-standing
health problems or disabilities in Europe, according to latest statistics.

Eurostat, the European statistical agency, said that 16.4 per cent of the
EU’s working-age population had a long-standing health problem or disability in
2002.

Finland had the highest (32.2 per cent), followed by the UK (27.2). The
lowest figures were Spain (8.7) and Italy (6.6).

"These large differences between countries should be interpreted with
caution," it stressed. "They may partly reflect differences in how
respondents perceived the questions and the replies could have been mediated by
cultural traits."

Overall, there was little difference in the prevalence of disability between
men and women, although numbers were higher among the least educated and those
who were widowed, divorced or inactive. The rates also increased with age.

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