Productivity Losses and Costs in the Less-Common Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases

  • Natalie McCormick
  • Carlo A. Marra
  • J. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta
Health Economics and Quality of Life (N Tsao, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Health Economics and Quality of Life


Purpose of Review

We synthesised the literature on productivity losses and costs in the less-common systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases: Sjogren’s syndrome (SjS), systemic sclerosis (SSc), poly/dermatomyositis (PM/DM), and systemic vasculitides (SV).

Recent Findings

Of 29 studies located, 12 were published 2012 onwards (SSc = 6, SjS = 2, PM/DM = 2, SV = 2). In these, 25% of PM/DM, and 21–26% of SV, were work disabled, 22% of SSc stopped work within 3 years of diagnosis, and annual costs of absenteeism in SSc averaged $12,024 2017 USD. Very few studies reported on costs, presenteeism (working at reduced levels), or unpaid productivity loss. Across multiple systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs), major drivers of lost productivity were generalised items like pain, depression, and fatigue, rather than disease-specific factors.


Evidence suggests that work disability is common in SSc and strikes quickly. However, in SSc and other SARDs, more comprehensive estimates are needed, which include absenteeism and presenteeism from paid and unpaid work, costs, and drivers of productivity loss.


Work disability Productivity loss Indirect costs Systemic sclerosis Sjogren’s syndrome Systemic vasculitis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie McCormick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlo A. Marra
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Arthritis Research CanadaRichmondCanada
  3. 3.School of PharmacyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  4. 4.Division of Rheumatology, Department of MedicineThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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