A Canadian study has found that arthritis-related disability takes a major toll on a productivity in the workplace, as it forces workers to change their work hours, the type and nature of work or even lose their job.
The study, which tracked 490 people with osteoarthritis (OA) and inflammatory arthritis (IA) for more than four years, reports that, 63 percent of the participants remained employed, but work changes were common.
45 percent reduced their work hours due to arthritis; 52 percent switched their type of work; 18 percent weren't able to seek and accept promotions and job transfers; and 41 percent weren't able to take on additional responsibilities.
"By studying these changes, we hope to identify those that allow people to remain employed longer, as well as types of transitions that signal problems that need to be addressed with early intervention and treatment," she said.
In addition, many of the participants used vacation time and missed work to deal with their arthritis. Arthritis affects about 46 million Americans.
The study was presented on Nov. 10 at an American College of Rheumatology meeting in Boston.