Monday, February 11, 2008

50% of rheumatoid arthritis patients give up work within ten years, says new study

Are you still in employment? How long have you been having RA?

This "headline" certainly spell trouble for RA patients who are looking for a job!
Fifty per cent of rheumatoid arthritis patients give up work within ten years, says new study A new study into the costs associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has shown that many people with the disease are forced to retire early.

Researchers from Sweden published their findings in the European Journal of Health Economics.

The team found that 65 per cent of the costs associated with RA were outside the health care sector and that these included productivity losses, patient out-of-pocket costs and informal care.

The researchers also suggested that around 50 per cent of all people with RA were forced to leave their workplace and either retire or apply for a disability pension within ten years of disease onset.

"Of all the chronic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis has one of the biggest impacts on the quality of life of patients," commented Professor Josef Smolen.

"I am confident that this study will contribute to the discussion on the importance of RA from a societal perspective and not just a health care perspective.

"Patient access to good care and treatment including thorough follow-up examinations and access to innovative drug therapies, where indicated, are critical elements that will benefit all of society."

An Arthritis Research Campaign spokeswoman said: "It is very disappointing that so many RA patients have to give up work within ten years of developing the disease, despite huge advances in treatment. It may be that anti-TNF therapy, given early in the course of disease may help keep people in employment for longer, in future years."

article form ARC website

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