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Disability claims for joint, musculoskeletal issues on the rise

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Disability claims for joint disorders and musculoskeletal issues have increased significantly over the past 10 years in the United States, according to an annual review of Unum Group’s claims experience released Thursday.

Unum tracked the reasons behind disability leave and found that trends over the past decade show a 33% increase in long-term disability claims and a 14% increase in short-term disability claims for musculoskeletal issues. Trends also show a 22% increase in long-term disability claims and a 26% increase in short-term disability claims for joint disorders, Unum said in a statement.

“Two particular trends are driving this experience,” Greg Breter, senior vice president of benefits at Unum said in the statement. “Aging baby boomers are staying in the workforce longer, and more than a third of U.S. adults are classified as overweight or obese.”

Even with an increase in joint and musculoskeletal issues, cancer remains the No. 1 reason for long-term disability claims over the past decade, and pregnancy tops the list of reasons for short term disability, according to the statement.

Unum is a provider of disability insurance in the United States and the United Kingdom.