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Study Assesses Work Force Burden of Ulcerative Colitis

Patients with ulcerative colitis have more sick days; colectomy does not fully restore work ability

Study Assesses Work Force Burden of Ulcerative Colitis

MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to the general population, patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) miss more work days, and patients who undergo colectomy do not fully restore work ability, according to research published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

Martin Neovius, Ph.D., of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a cohort study using data from the Swedish National Patient Registry to estimate the burden of sick leave and disability pension in patients with UC.

According to the researchers, the annual mean work days lost was higher in patients with UC (65 days) than in the general population (45 days). The annual mean work days lost was 40 days three years prior to colectomy, 141 days the year of colectomy, and 85 days three years after colectomy. More patients with UC were disabled three years after colectomy than three years before colectomy (12.4 versus 5.9 percent). In comparison, 7.2 percent of the general population were work disabled.

"Patients with UC miss more work days than the general population in Sweden," the authors write. "Colectomy did not fully restore the mean or 75th percentile level of work ability, with work loss reaching neither presurgery nor general population levels during three to seven years of follow-up."

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