2016. Landfeldt E et al. – Sick leave and disability pension before and after diagnosis of multiple sclerosis
Landfeldt E, Castelo-Branco A, Svedbom A, Löfroth E, Kavaliunas A, Hillert J. Sick leave and disability pension before and after diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2016;22(14):1859-66.
BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with considerable morbidity and serious disability, but little is known of the long-term impact of the disease on work ability.
OBJECTIVES: To assess sick leave (short-term absence) and disability pension (long-term absence) before and after diagnosis of MS.
METHODS: Patients with MS in Sweden were identified in a nationwide disease-specific register and matched with general population controls. Sick leave and disability pension were measured before and after index (i.e. the MS diagnosis date).
RESULTS: The final sample comprised 6092 patients and 60,345 controls (mean age 39 years; 70% female). The mean annual prevalence of sick leave ranged from 12% the first year after index to 23% after 11 years among patients and from 13% to 13% among controls. Corresponding estimates for disability pension were 12% and 55% for patients and 7% and 9% for controls. Significant differences in sick leave were observed up to 15 years before index and 3 years for disability pension.
CONCLUSION: Patients with MS in Sweden have elevated levels of sick leave and disability pension up to 15 years before disease diagnosis. Our results highlight the burden of disease on affected patients and society and underscore the substantial unmet medical need.