Impact of early systemic lupus erythematosus on work disability—results from the Finnish nationwide register 2000–2007
Objectives of this study were to examine work disability (WD) and its leading causes in incident SLE patients. Data were derived from the Finnish nationwide registries to identify all non-retired, 18 to 64-year-old incident SLE patients between 2000 and 2007. Sick benefits and WD pensions and the causes for them were monitored until the end of 2008. A total of 446 working-aged, incident SLE patients available for work force (mean age 42 ± 13 years, 89% females) were found. During the follow-up (median 5.3 years), WD pension was granted to 27 patients. The most common cause was SLE itself (14 patients, 52%), with cumulative incidence of 3.4% (95% CI 1.9 to 5.8) in 5 years and 5.0% (95% CI 3.0 to 8.5) in 8 years, followed by musculoskeletal and psychiatric causes. The age- and sex- adjusted incidence ratio for WD pension in SLE patients due to any cause was 5.4 (95% CI 3.7 to 7.9) compared to the Finnish population. The mean number of WD days was 32 (95% CI 28 to 35) per patient-year among all SLE patients during the follow-up. The study concludes that SLE patients have an increased risk for WD already in early course of the disease.
KeywordsInsurance benefits Pensions Registries Systemic lupus erythematosus Work disability
The authors report following financial activities outside the submitted work: PE has received lecture fees from Abbvie and UCB Pharma and reimbursement of congress costs from Roche and Abbvie. KP has received honoraria from Pfizer, Lilly, MSD, Bristol Myers Squibb, UCB Pharma, Novartis, Roche, and Abbvie and reimbursement of congress costs from Roche, Pfizer, and Abbvie. OKS has received reimbursement of training and congress costs from Medac, MSD, Abbvie, Roche, and Pfizer. VR has received grant from Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility Area of Tampere University Hospital, lecture fees from Pfizer, MSD and Bristol Myers Squibb, and reimbursement of training and congress costs from Celegen, Abbvie, Roche, and UCB Pharma.
There was no legal requirement for approval by an ethics committee, since we used only encrypted register data.
The study was financially supported by the grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, North Savo Regional fund, and the Finnish Rheumatic Disease Research Foundation.
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