The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 463–470 | Cite as

The socio-economic impact of work disability due to inflammatory bowel disease in Brazil

  • Renata de S. B. Fróes
  • Ana Teresa Pugas Carvalho
  • Antonio Jose de V. Carneiro
  • Adriana Maria Hilu de Barros Moreira
  • Jessica P. L. Moreira
  • Ronir R. Luiz
  • Heitor S. de Souza
Original Paper



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.


Inflammatory bowel diseases Work disability Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Indirect costs Productivity loss 



Inflammatory bowel disease


Crohn’s disease


Ulcerative colitis


National Institute of Social Security


Unified Benefits Information System

JEL Classification

I: 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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renata de S. B. Fróes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana Teresa Pugas Carvalho
    • 1
  • Antonio Jose de V. Carneiro
    • 3
  • Adriana Maria Hilu de Barros Moreira
    • 2
  • Jessica P. L. Moreira
    • 4
  • Ronir R. Luiz
    • 4
  • Heitor S. de Souza
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Disciplina de Gastroenterologia e Endoscopia DigestivaUniversidade do Estado do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social (INSS)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  3. 3.Serviço de Gastroenterologia, Departamento de Clínica MédicaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Instituto de Estudos de Saúde Coletiva (IESC)Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  5. 5.D’Or Institute for Research and Education (IDOR)Rio de JaneiroBrazil

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