Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 63,
November 2011 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Chicago, Illinois November 4-9, 2011.

Work Disability Is Related to the Presence of Arthritis, Not to a Specific Diagnosis.

Ficco1,  Hernan Maldonado, Alamino1,  Rodolfo Perez, Dal Pra1,  Fernando, Lencina1,  Veronica, Casalla2,  Luciana, Benegas2,  Mariana, Rillo2,  Oscar

Instituto de Rehabilitación Psicofísica, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Centro de enfermedades Reumaticas, Santiago Del Estero, Argentina
Hospital Tornu, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hospital Padilla, Tucuman, Argentina
Consultorio, Tucuman, Argentina
Hospital Privado de Cordoba, Cordoba, Argentina
Hospital San Martin, La Plata, Argentina
Hospital Rivadiavia, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hospital Jose Maria Cullen, Santa Fe, Argentina
Hospital Italiano, Buenos Aires, Argentina


to evaluate work disability and its main associated factors in patients with early arthritis.


CONAART (Argentine Consortium for Early Arthritis) is the first early arthritis cohort in Argentina. Patients with at least one or more swollen joints and less than 2 years of symptoms duration were followed up prospectively in 13 rheumatology centers. Social, demographic, familiar, clinical and laboratory data were recollected. At first year and every year X-rays of hands and feet were performed and working status and pharmaco-economic data were evaluated. Work status (employed, unemployed, retired) and type of work were assessed by direct interview using a predesigned questionnaire. Patients retired due to age were excluded from final analysis. Categorical variables were compared using chi square and Fisher test and continue variables using student T test and ANOVA. Variables associated to work disability were analyzed by multiple logistic regression analysis.


848 patients were included, RA ( ACR 87' Criteria) = 483 (57%), UA= 365 (43%), 694 (81.8%) were women, median age was 46 years (IQR:35–55.7) and median symptoms duration 7 months (IQR:3–12). Demographic data and disease duration were comparable between both groups. Patients with RA had significantly higher disease activity, worse functional capacity and quality of life, and more severe radiological damage (SENS score) compared to UA patients. Rheumatoid factor positivity was higher in RA vs UA (84.6% vs 34.1% p=0,001). However work disability (unemployed patients) was comparable between groups (RA=21% vs UA=18.6% p=NS). In both groups unemployed patients had higher DAS28, worse HAQ values and less years of formal education (p value <0,005 in all comparisons). Radiological damage was greater in unemployed patients but this difference did not reach statistical significance. In multivariate analysis, disease activity was the main variable associated with unemployment in both groups. No association was found with type of job or physical demand required for it.


Disease activity, but not radiological damage was the main cause of work disability in this cohort of patients with early arthritis, independently of the final diagnosis.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Ficco, Hernan Maldonado, Alamino, Rodolfo Perez, Dal Pra, Fernando, Lencina, Veronica, Casalla, Luciana, Benegas, Mariana, et al; Work Disability Is Related to the Presence of Arthritis, Not to a Specific Diagnosis. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2011;63 Suppl 10 :2563

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