Objectives: To compare health status, demographic variables and work disability between males and females with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in the age group 18-45, and further to compare health status between work disabled and not work disabled for each gender and to identify variables associated with work disability (WD).
Methods: Cross-sectional study of PsA patients with peripheral arthritis at the time starting with disease modifying antirheumatic drug therapy (DMARD) and / or biological treatment. Patients receiving a permanent national WD pension corresponding to ≥ 50 % were defined as work disabled. We examined gender differences with regard to health status, demographic variables and WD. Mann-Whitney U test and Pearson chi-square were applied for group comparisons between males and females and work disabled versus not work disabled for each gender. Multiple logistic regression analyses with adjustments for duration of education, disease duration, age, erosive disease, disability score (MHAQ), the SF-36 mental health score and gender were used to identify variables associated with WD.
Results: Out of 271 (102 females) patients the number (%) of work disabled females / males was 33(32.7) / 29(17.4) (p=0.004). Work disabled patients had generally worse health status than not work disabled patients and these differences were generally more pronounced in males than females. In the multiple logistic regression model low educational level, increasing disability score (MHAQ), presence of erosive disease, female gender and disease duration were independently associated with WD.
Conclusions: WD in PsA patients below 45 years of age was independently associated with educational level, disability score, erosive disease, female gender and disease duration.