- Meeting abstract
- Open Access
Impact of systemic lupus erythematosus organ damage on unemployment or disability from a population-based cohort
Arthritis Research & Therapy volume 14, Article number: A13 (2012)
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) predominantly develops in younger age groups, when many are establishing themselves in the workforce. The development of a chronic, autoimmune condition during this period can have a devastating impact on employment. The objective was to determine the impact of different organ damage in patients with SLE on employment loss from a large, population-based cohort.
The source of data was from the 2011 to 2012 annual patient-reported survey of the Georgians Organized Against Lupus (GOAL) Study, an ongoing population-based cohort of patients with validated SLE in Atlanta, GA assembled primarily from the Georgia Lupus Registry (GLR). The GLR was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and designed to more accurately estimate the incidence and prevalence of SLE. In partnership with the state health department, the GLR was able to access protected health information without patient consent. GOAL Study participants were surveyed regarding employment status at the time of survey completion along with other demographic information. Organ damage was measured using the Brief Index of Lupus Damage. Disease activity was measured using the SLE Activity Questionnaire (SLAQ). Logistic regression analysis was used to measure the association between categories of organ damage and unemployment/disability.
A total of 459 SLE patients were surveyed with a mean age of 46.5 (SD ± 10), 13.4 (SD ± 8.6) years of disease, and 14.2 (SD ± 2.8) years of education; 93.2% were female, 79.5% were black and 14.4% white. One hundred and ninety-seven (42.9%) were working and 262 (57.1%) were unemployed/disabled. The median duration of loss of employment was 7.1 years (IQR 3.1 to 12.3). See Table 1.
In total, 57.1% of SLE patients were unemployed or disabled at the time of the survey. Organ damage from SLE has a profound association with unemployment/disability. In the multivariate model, low education level and depression were independently associated with unemployment/disability. In line with other studies, cardiovascular and renal damage were associated with unemployment/disability. Previous studies have not reported disease activity (SLAQ) as a mediator and should be considered particularly when evaluating neuropsychiatric damage and its association with employment.
Rights and permissions
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
About this article
Cite this article
Lim, S., Agan, M. & Drenkard, C. Impact of systemic lupus erythematosus organ damage on unemployment or disability from a population-based cohort. Arthritis Res Ther 14 (Suppl 3), A13 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/ar3947
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patient
- Health Department
- Organ Damage
- Renal Damage