Background As systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic disease, it can lead in time to important functional limitations that impair not only their quality of life but also their ability to work. Prior studies on work disability in patients with SLE have shown that about one third of the patients become disabled within 3–12 years of diagnosis 1,2.
Objectives To assess the work disability in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus in Moldavian lupus study group.
Methods Using a cross-sectional design, patients who fulfilled the SLICC (2012) classification criteria for SLE, were recruited from rheumatology departement. Data collection included demographics, disease duration, physician-rated indices of disease activity (SLAM) and damage index (SLICC DI). Work disability was defined by patients self-report.
Results The study included 106 patients (97 females, 9 males) with a mean age (±SD) of 41,1±12,6 years, mean disease duration of 90,0±87,2 months. The disease activity by SLAM was 11±5,17 points and mean SLICC/ACR DI 1,9±2,4 points. The rate of self-reported work disability among the 106 patients studied was 35,8% (38 patients). Disability rate in the first year of disease was reported by 39,5% (15) patients; after 2 to 5 years of disease the estimated rate was of 47,4% (18 patients); after 6 to 10 years of disease the estimated rate was of 10,5% (4 patients) and after 10 years of disease the self-reported work disability was 2,6% (1 patient).
Conclusions The rate of work disability was 35,8% with the highest rate in the first five years of disease, affecting younger persons, which make crucial to identify strategies aimed to reduce work disability is in those patients.
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Khanna S, Pal H, Pandey RM, Handa R. The relationship between disease activity and quality of life in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology 2004; 43:1536–40.
Disclosure of Interest None declared