The socio-economic impact of work disability due to inflammatory bowel disease in Brazil
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) might have economic and social impacts in Brazil, where its prevalence has increased recently. This study aimed to assess disability due to IBD in the Brazilian population and demographic factors potentially associated with absence from work.
Analysis was performed using the computerized Single System of Social Security Benefits Information, with a cross-check for aid pension and disability retirement, for Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Additional data were obtained from the platform, including the average values, benefit duration, age, gender and region of the country.
Temporary disability occurred more frequently with UC, whereas permanent disability was more frequent with CD. Temporary disability affected more younger patients with CD than patients with UC. Temporary work absences due to UC and CD were greater in the South, and the lowest absence rates due to CD were noted in the North and Northeast. Absence from work was longer (extending for nearly a year) in patients with CD compared to those with UC. The rates of temporary and permanent disability were greater among women. Permanent disability rates were higher in the South (UC) and Southeast (CD). The value of benefits paid for IBD represented approximately 1% of all social security benefits. The benefits paid for CD were higher than for UC, whereas both tended to decrease from 2010 to 2014.
In Brazil, IBD frequently causes disability for prolonged periods and contributes to early retirement. Reduction trends may reflect improvements in access to health care and medication. Vocational rehabilitation programs may positively impact social security and the patients’ quality of life.
KeywordsInflammatory bowel diseases Work disability Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Indirect costs Productivity loss
Inflammatory bowel disease
National Institute of Social Security
Unified Benefits Information System
JEL ClassificationI: I1 I18
The authors thank Drs. Paula Regina Soares Malta and Roseane Teles Correia for technical assistance, the Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social (INSS) for granting access to the database of social security, and the Brazilian research foundations Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) for financial support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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