In Early Arthritis, Considerable Work Productivity Loss Seen
(HealthDay News) — For patients with early arthritis (EA), work productivity (WP) loss is considerable during the first three years of disease, according to research published in the September issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Sabrina Dadoun, MD, from Paris VI University, and colleagues assessed WP loss during the first three years of disease in a cohort of 664 patients with early EA diagnosed between 2002 and 2005. WP loss was assessed based on sick leave, permanent disability, and early retirement, and its costs were estimated.
Of the cohort, 81.6% of patients were in the workforce at baseline. The researchers found that 45% reported one or more sick-leave days, 11% reported permanent disability during the first three years of disease, and 1% reported early retirement. There was a decrease in the mean number of days on sick leave due to EA, from 44 to 13, while the mean number of days on permanent disability increased from 10 to 33. In multivariate models, independent determinants of positive and extreme costs included sick leave >30 days due to EA before inclusion and a decrease in mental and physical scores of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 at inclusion.
"WP loss is substantial in EA patients and is due to permanent disability before the third year of disease," the authors write.
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.