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Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo

On-line version ISSN 1989-7790Print version ISSN 0465-546X


REGAL-RAMOS, Raúl. Epidemiology of work disability due to musculoskeletal pathology in Spain: 60,000 workers assessed by The National Social Security Institute in 2019. Med. segur. trab. [online]. 2022, vol.68, n.269, pp.209-220.  Epub Sep 18, 2023. ISSN 1989-7790.


To know the epidemiological characteristics of patients with osteomuscular pathology assessed for work disability.

Material and methods:

A descriptive, cross-sectional and retrospective study is carried out, including 60,000 patients with musculoskeletal pathology assessed for work disability at the National Social Security Institute in 2019. They have been studied pathology ( CIE-9 code), age, gender, autonomous community, professional occupation, social security affiliation scheme, form of initiation of the disability file, contingency and resolution of the disability file variables. Conteined in data base ALFA from INSS


The most frequently musculoskeletal disorders assessed in the disability assessment medical units are those of the lumbar spine (31.6%), the shoulder (13.5%) and the knee (11.9%). The musculoskeletal disorders that generate more permanent disability are those of the hip and knee. Shoulder and elbow account for more than 2/3 of all occupational diseases due to musculoskeletal disorders. 87% of total permanent incapacity for work (PI) ratings by musculoskeletal disorders receive the grade of total permanent incapacity for work . The percentage of PI refusals is higher in women (61%) than in men (47%) and very similar between the general regime (54%) and the self-employed (55%). The occupations that generate more disability assessment consultations are those with the most physical requirements, wich are, service and industry workers and laborers. Galicia is the Autonomous Community with the highest number of assessments per Social Security affiliate, and the Canary Islands the one with the highest number of IPT per Social Security affiliate. When relating the number of disabilities with the number of assessments of the Disability Assessment Medical Units, we observe that Canarias, Ceuta and Melilla show the highest percentages of Total and Absolute Permanent Disability resolutions, and Catalonia and Valencia the highest percentages of Major Disability.


The data show that the granting of PI is a complex process in which intervene inner individual factors, but also external factors. Deepening the study of these variables will be very useful to adapt preventive programs for the susceptible population, with the aim of improving the health of workers and also with the objective of the sustainability of our pension system.

Keywords : Epidemiology; Prevalence; Work incapacity.

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