Work disability remains a major problem in rheumatoid arthritis in the 2000s: data from 32 countries in the QUEST-RA Study

Jyväskylä Central Hospital, Keskussairaalantie 19, 40620 Jyväskylä, Finland.
Arthritis research & therapy (Impact Factor: 4.12). 03/2010; 12(2):R42. DOI: 10.1186/ar2951
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Work disability is a major consequence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), associated not only with traditional disease activity variables, but also more significantly with demographic, functional, occupational, and societal variables. Recent reports suggest that the use of biologic agents offers potential for reduced work disability rates, but the conclusions are based on surrogate disease activity measures derived from studies primarily from Western countries.
The Quantitative Standard Monitoring of Patients with RA (QUEST-RA) multinational database of 8,039 patients in 86 sites in 32 countries, 16 with high gross domestic product (GDP) (>24K US dollars (USD) per capita) and 16 low-GDP countries (<11K USD), was analyzed for work and disability status at onset and over the course of RA and clinical status of patients who continued working or had stopped working in high-GDP versus low-GDP countries according to all RA Core Data Set measures. Associations of work disability status with RA Core Data Set variables and indices were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analyses.
At the time of first symptoms, 86% of men (range 57%-100% among countries) and 64% (19%-87%) of women <65 years were working. More than one third (37%) of these patients reported subsequent work disability because of RA. Among 1,756 patients whose symptoms had begun during the 2000s, the probabilities of continuing to work were 80% (95% confidence interval (CI) 78%-82%) at 2 years and 68% (95% CI 65%-71%) at 5 years, with similar patterns in high-GDP and low-GDP countries. Patients who continued working versus stopped working had significantly better clinical status for all clinical status measures and patient self-report scores, with similar patterns in high-GDP and low-GDP countries. However, patients who had stopped working in high-GDP countries had better clinical status than patients who continued working in low-GDP countries. The most significant identifier of work disability in all subgroups was Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) functional disability score.
Work disability rates remain high among people with RA during this millennium. In low-GDP countries, people remain working with high levels of disability and disease activity. Cultural and economic differences between societies affect work disability as an outcome measure for RA.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: With the ameliorating prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the role of comorbidities as causes of work disability (WD) may increase. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of psychiatric and cardiovascular (CV) comorbidities as the leading causes of long-term WD among patients with recent-onset RA. Method: Between 2000 and 2007, all incident, working-age and non-retired RA patients were identified from a Finnish nationwide register. From other registers, we identified the RA patients who were granted a permanent or temporary disability pension by 31 December 2008. The incidences of disability pensions with CV diseases (ICD-10 codes I00–I99) or psychiatric disorders (F20–F69) as the leading causes were assessed and compared with the general population. Results: We identified a cohort of 7831 patients with RA. During follow-up, 1095 patients were granted a disability pension. After adjusting for competing risks, the 9-year cumulative incidence of WD caused by RA, a psychiatric comorbidity, or a CV disease was 11.9, 1.3, and 0.5%, respectively. Compared to the general population, the age- and sex-specific standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of WD due to psychiatric comorbidities was 0.99 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.80–1.23] and due to CV disease 1.75 (95% CI 1.23–2.51). Conclusions: In the study cohort with recent-onset RA, the 9-year cumulative incidence of disability pensions caused by psychiatric or CV comorbidities was only 11% or 4%, respectively, of that caused by RA itself. Compared to the general population, the risk of WD due to CV disease was increased.
    Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 10/2014; 44(2). DOI:10.3109/03009742.2014.929174 · 2.61 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: With musculoskeletal conditions now identified as the second highest cause of the morbidity-related global burden of disease, models of care for the prevention and management of disability related to musculoskeletal conditions are an imperative. Musculoskeletal models of care aim to describe how to operationalise evidence-based guidelines for musculoskeletal conditions and thus support implementation by clinical teams and their health systems. This review of models of care for musculoskeletal pain conditions, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and musculoskeletal injuries and trauma outlines health system and local implementation strategies to improve consumer outcomes, including supporting access to multidisciplinary teams, improving access for vulnerable populations and levering digital technologies to support access and self-management. However, the challenge remains of how to inform health system decision-makers and policy about the human and fiscal benefits for broad implementation across health services. Recommendations are made for potential solutions, as well as highlighting where further evidence is required.
    Bailli&egrave re s Best Practice and Research in Clinical Rheumatology 08/2014; 28(3). DOI:10.1016/j.berh.2014.07.001 · 3.06 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease that causes significant disability and reduced life expectancy. The folate antagonist methotrexate (MTX) is first-line therapy for RA when used weekly at low doses (5-25 mg). However, the true rate of adherence to MTX is uncertain. This is in part due to the different methods of measurement of adherence employed with no biochemical test currently available to determine adherence to low dose MTX. Common methods of MTX measurement include immunoassays in patients with high dose therapy, but these assays cross-react with MTX metabolites and lack the sensitivity required to measure adherence to low dose MTX. HPLC-SRM-MS (selected reaction monitoring-mass spectrometry) has several theoretical advantages over immunoassays with improved specificity, minimal cross-reaction and higher sensitivity. The aim of this study was to develop an assay to measure MTX and its major metabolite 7-OH-MTX in urine as a tool to monitor adherence to low dose MTX in clinic. As a proof of concept, urine samples from 4 participants with RA were measured after directly observed therapy. The assay showed improved sensitivity compared to that reported by immunoassays, with low carryover and high within-run precision. In participant samples, MTX was measurable in the urine for up to 105 hours after administration and 7-OH-MTX was detectable up to 98 hours after administration, suggesting that this assay is suitable for the measurement of adherence to therapy. The assay requires minimal sample preparation and can be adopted by other laboratories with minimal study set up.
    The Analyst 02/2015; 140(6). DOI:10.1039/c4an02321h · 3.91 Impact Factor