HealthDay News — For patients with early arthritis (EA), work productivity loss is considerable during the first three years of disease, results of a study published in Arthritis Care & Research indicate.

To assess work productivity loss during the first three years of disease, Sabrina Dadoun, MD, of Paris VI University, and colleagues studied 644 patients who received a diagnosis of early arthritis.

Work productivity loss was based on three components: sick leave, permanent disability, and early retirement. The proportion of affected patients and the mean number of days off were assessed for each component.

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Of the cohort, 81.6% of patients were in the workforce at baseline. Of those patients, 45% of reported one more sick-leave days, 11% reported permanent disability during the first three years of disease, and 1% reported early retirement. There was a decrease in the mean number of days on sick leave due to EA, from 44 to 13, while the mean number of days on permanent disability increased from 10 to 33.

“[Work productivity] loss is substantial in EA patients and is due to permanent disability before the third year of disease,” concluded the researchers.


  1. Dadoun S et al. Arthritis Care & Research. 2014; doi: 10.1002/acr.22298.


Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.