Background SLE can inflict significant morbidity that is reflected not only in the patients' overall clinical status but also in their ability to work.
Objectives To examine the cumulative rate and factors associated with work disability in SLE patients in the Province of Cόrdoba, Argentina
Methods We studied 225 patients, age >16 years. Work disability was defined by patients' self-report of not working because of their health status. The cumulative rate of work disability was estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method. The relationship between socioeconomic-demographic, self-reported QoL (Lupus PRO) and clinical data [clinical manifestations, diagnostic criteria (1987 ACR criteria), disease activity (SELENA-SLEDAI), damage (SLICC Damage Index), co-morbidities (Charlson Index)] and work disability was examined with Chi-Square and Mann-Whitney U test. Variables with p≤0.10 in these analyses were then examined by multivariable logistic regression with work disability as the dependent variable
Results Patients were predominantly females (89%) and they had a median (IQR) age at diagnosis of 26.0 (16.0) years. Median disease duration was 96.0 (144.0) months. Fifty-five (24%) patients were work-disabled. The cumulative rate (SE) of work disability was 5% at one year, 25% at five years and 40% at 10 years. In the multivariable analysis, a lower socio-economic status (OR=1.744, 95%CI 1.063-2.861; p=0.028) and a lower QoL of life (OR=0.947, 95%CI 0.910-0,985; p=0.07) were associated with work disability
Conclusions The cumulative rate of self-reported work disability is high among this sample of SLE patients, reaching 40% at 10 years. None of the variables related to the disease manifestations or its severity were associated with work disability. Patients of lower socio-economic status and lower self reported QoL are at higher risk of becoming work disabled. The latter would imply that any pro-active intervention directed towards preventing work disability among SLE patients in this population should have a broader approach than the disease itself
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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