To study levels of sick leave and disability pension before and after TNF-antagonist therapy in AS patients.
Using the population-based South Swedish Arthritis Treatment Group register, we identified 139 AS patients (aged 18-58 years, 78% men), who between January 2002 and December 2008 started their first treatment with adalimumab, etanercept or infliximab. We linked data to the payment register by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and calculated the proportion on sick leave in 30-day intervals from 12 months before treatment start until 12 months after. For each AS patient, we randomly selected four subjects from the general population matched for age, sex and area of residence.
One to 3 months before treatment, an average of 24% of AS patients were on sick leave. During the first 6 months after treatment start, this fraction dropped to 15%, and further declined to 12% at 12 months (P?