Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.


How Large Are the Productivity Losses in Contemporary Patients with RA, and How Soon in Relation to Diagnosis Do They Develop? A Six-Year Nationwide Cohort Study.

Neovius1,  Martin, Simard1,  Julia F., Askling2,  Johan, ARTIS Study Group3,  

Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Karolinska Institute

Background:

Marked changes in the therapeutic approaches to early RA have taken place the last decade. Whether the increasing treatment intensity and number of treatment options have led to improvements in work ability is unclear. Furthermore, nationwide assessments of the societal burden due to reduced work ability in contemporary patients with RA are lacking.

Objective:

To estimate the sick leave and disability pension trajectory in patients diagnosed with early RA 1999–2007, and productivity losses in prevalent patients with RA in 2007.

Methods:

Patients of working age diagnosed with early RA in 1999–2007 were identified in the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register (early RA cohort: n=3,084; mean age 46y; 73% women). Additionally, prevalent patients on Jan 1, 2008, were identified in the National Patient Register and the Swedish Rheumatology Quality Register (prevalent RA cohort: n=25,934; mean age 52y; 73% women). For each patient with RA, five age-, sex-, education-, county-, and time period-matched general population comparators were sampled. Sick leave and disability pension days were retrieved from national registers for 1997 to 2007.

Results:

In the early RA cohort, sick leave and disability pension increased from a mean 44 to 118 days/year (mean difference 74, 95%CI 69–79) from the year before to the year of RA diagnosis. A further increase to 133 days/year (mean difference 15, 95%CI 11–20) was observed the following year, followed by a rebound to 118 and 115 days/year the subsequent two years. During the three years following RA diagnosis, sick leave halved from a mean 103 to 51 days/year while disability pension doubled from 30 to 64 days/year.

In the prevalent RA cohort, patients had a mean 158 (31+126) days of sick leave and disability pension compared to 71 (15+56) in comparators in 2007 (mean difference 87, 95%CI 84–90). Large variations existed across age, sex and education level, but RA cases had consistently greater productivity losses. The annual costs associated with sick leave and disability pension were $24,000 per patient with $13,000 attributable to RA.

Conclusion:

Despite better drugs and improved treatment strategies, data from contemporary patients with early and established RA indicate large unmet needs.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Neovius, Martin, Simard, Julia F., Askling, Johan, ARTIS Study Group3, ; How Large Are the Productivity Losses in Contemporary Patients with RA, and How Soon in Relation to Diagnosis Do They Develop? A Six-Year Nationwide Cohort Study. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :1548
DOI: 10.1002/art.29314

Abstract Supplement

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