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Respir Med. 2018 Nov;144S:S7-S12. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2018.09.016. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Work ability before and after sarcoidosis diagnosis in Sweden.

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Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine Solna, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:
Karolinska University Hospital, Department of Medicine Solna, Theme Inflammation and Infection, Stockholm, Sweden; Karolinska Institutet, Center for Molecular Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Department of Medicine Solna, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Stockholm, Sweden.



Information on how sarcoidosis affects one's ability to work is needed to clarify the burden of disease on the individual and society. Our aim was to describe the work ability of individuals with sarcoidosis before and after diagnosis compared to people without sarcoidosis.


Swedish national registers were used to identify adults diagnosed with sarcoidosis aged 25-59 years old and matched general population comparators without sarcoidosis 2006-2012. Information on work loss (days of sick leave and disability pension) and earnings (gross salary) was collected from the Longitudinal Integration Database for Health Insurance and Labor Market Studies. Mean earnings and work loss days per year from 5 years before to 5 years after diagnosis were calculated.


During diagnosis year, sarcoidosis patients (n = 3347) earned 8% less and registered 26 more work loss days than comparators (n = 33,407). The number of work loss days was higher than the general population in the years leading up to sarcoidosis diagnosis. Five years after diagnosis, the number of total work loss days decreased among sarcoidosis patients, but remained higher than that of the general population. Individuals who were older, female, less educated and received treatment at diagnosis registered the highest number of work loss days and had the largest difference in earnings at all time points.


Individuals with sarcoidosis experience a reduction in work ability which persists for up to five years after diagnosis. Interventions targeted at getting sarcoidosis patients back to work should be evaluated.


Disability; Economics; Epidemiology; Sarcoidosis

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