Crohn's disease may affect the ability to work and lead to permanent disability. We aimed to investigate work loss in prevalent patients.
We identified patients with Crohn's disease and general population comparators matched by sex, birth year, healthcare region and education. We assessed days of sick leave and disability pension retrieved from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency and estimated the absolute and relative risk of receiving disability pension [minimum 25% work impairment].
In 2014, the 20638 Crohn's disease patients [median age 44 years] had more than twice as many mean lost workdays [disability pension: 44; sick leave: 19] as the 102038 comparators [disability pension: 20; sick leave: 8], mean difference 35 days [95% confidence interval 33-37]. However, the majority had no lost workdays [68% of patients and 85% of comparators]. The proportion of patients receiving disability pension was 15% (6.5% in the comparators, risk ratio 2.34 [2.25-2.43]) and was higher in all subgroups, especially in female patients [28% vs 13% in the comparators], in those with =9 years of education [41% vs 23%] and in ages 60-64 years [46% vs 25%]. The relative risk of disability pension within the patient cohort [adjusted for age, sex, region and education] was higher in patients with complicated disease behaviour, extraintestinal manifestations, need of surgery or treatment with biologics. The differences between patients and comparators remained when comparing other calendar years [2006-2013].
Work loss was found in approximately one-third of patients. The mean number of lost workdays was twice as high as in the comparators.