Objectives The objective of this study is to describe work capacity and costs related to this among Swedish patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) of working age (18-64 years)
Methods A questionnaire was sent to members of the Swedish Rheumatology Association with a self-reported diagnosis of SLE, requesting information on demographics and disease characteristics, resource utilization, informal care and loss of productivity fatigue and HRQoL in relation to SLE during the last 12 months. Only patients in working age (18-64 years) were included in this analysis. Mean annual SLE-related costs per patient were estimated from a societal perspective. All costs were translated from SEK to Euro (€) according to 2013 currency (SEK/€=8.87)
Results Out of the 339 patients that answered the questionnaire, 234 were of working age and included in the analysis. Mean age was 48 (SD 11.6), 96% were female, 65% were employed and 21% were early retired. Total mean annual costs for all patients in working age were €29,323 out of which €20,327 were indirect costs.
Those who were employed reported working 30 hours a week on average and 53% stated having reduced their number of working hours due to SLE. Among those employed, 33% reported having changed working duties due to their SLE and 57% reported being less effective while at work (on average 39% reduced effectiveness). Thirty percent of all employed patients reported that they had been on either long or short term sick leave (mean 48 (SD 81) days) and 15% reported being on long term sick leave from their employment. Of the patients who reported being retired, 86% stated being retired due to their SLE.
Conclusions This study demonstrates that annual costs among Swedish patients with SLE of working age are high (€29,323), and that more than two thirds of total costs are indirect costs. The high indirect costs are a reflection of high absenteeism, decreased productivity while at work and a high proportion of early retirement among this patient group.
Disclosure of Interest: C. Bexelius Grant/research support from: GSK, Employee of: Christin Bexelius were at the time of conduction employed by OptumInsight, a consultacy agency within Health Economy and Outcome Research., K. Wachtmeister Employee of: GlaxoSmithKline, Sweden, P. Skare Employee of: GlaxoSmithKline, Sweden, L. Jönsson Grant/research support from: GSK, Merck, Pfizer, Amgen and UCB., Consultant for: GSK, Merck, Pfizer, Amgen and UCB., Employee of: OptumInsight, R. van Vollenhoven Grant/research support from: AbbVie, BMS, GSK, MSD, Pfizer, Roche, UCB, Consultant for: AbbVie, BMS, GSK, MSD, Pfizer, Roche, UCB