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Cancer tops long-term disability causes: Unum


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.--Cancer remains the No. 1 cause of long-term disability in the United States, disability insurer Unum Group Corp. reported this week in its annual review of claims.

According to a statement, 12.1% of long-term disability claims submitted to the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based insurer in 2006 were due to cancer, with breast, prostate and colon cancers topping the list.

Kenneth Mitchell, vp of health and productivity, said the numbers highlight cancer's prevalence.

"The emotional, financial and workplace impact of cancer is significant and it will continue to grow," he said.

Complications from pregnancy, 11.7%; joint/muscle/connective tissue diseases, 10.1%; and back injuries, 8 %, also made the list of top long-term disability causes.

In its review of short-term disability claims, Unum said 20%--the most related to a single health issue--were caused by pregnancy. Injuries excluding back injuries were the second-most common cause of short-term disability claims, at 9%.