This is a pilot study of 100 persons claiming total and permanent disability because of pulmonary disease or dyspnea. The group was compared to 100 patients without disability claims who had similar age and sex distribution and virtually identical lung-function profiles. Among these, only 12 were totally disabled. One half of the claimants were unskilled laborers, as opposed to 12% of the controls.
Among the claimants, 46% had no discernible pulmonary impairment. Their main problems were inactive tuberculosis, insignificant heart disease, psychiatric problems, obesity, and alcoholism. Chronic obstructive airway disease accounted for 21 of the 25 cases of severe impairment. Claimants showed more variability and poorer performance with the maximal breathing capacity test than with single breath tests. They complained of more severe dyspnea for a given pulmonary reserve than the controls. The clinical and socioeconomic differences between the claimants and the control group are stressed.
Lindgren I, Müller B, Gaensler EA. Pulmonary Impairment and Disability Claims. JAMA. 1965;194(5):499–506. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090180023005
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