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Comorbidities are prevalent and detrimental for employment outcomes in people of working age with multiple sclerosis

Chen, Jing ORCID: 0000-0001-5256-050X, Taylor, B, Winzenberg, T ORCID: 0000-0002-4112-3491, Palmer, AJ ORCID: 0000-0002-9703-7891, Kirk-Brown, A, van Dijk, P, Simpson Jr, S ORCID: 0000-0001-6521-3056, Blizzard, L ORCID: 0000-0002-9541-6943 and van der Mei, I ORCID: 0000-0001-9009-7472 2019 , 'Comorbidities are prevalent and detrimental for employment outcomes in people of working age with multiple sclerosis' , Multiple Sclerosis Journal, no. June , pp. 1-10 , doi: 10.1177/1352458519872644.

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Abstract

Background: More work is needed to understand the burden of comorbidities in people with multiplesclerosis (MS).Objective: To assess prevalence of 30 comorbidities and impacts of comorbidities on employment outcomesin a working-aged MS cohort.Methods: Participants were from the Australian MS Longitudinal Study (n = 929). Information on specificcomorbidity was obtained (whether or not each was present, doctor-diagnosed, limited their activitiesand being treated).Results: Comorbidities most frequently reported to limit activities were osteoarthritis (51%), migraines(40%), anxiety (33%), depression (29%) and allergies (18%). Mean MS-related work productivity loss inpast 4 weeks was 1.3 days for those without comorbidities and 2.5 days for those with any comorbidity.The annual population costs of work productivity loss were highest for people with depression, allergies,anxiety, migraines and osteoarthritis. Higher number of comorbidities was associated with more workproductivity loss and a higher likelihood of not working. These associations were substantially reducedafter adjustment for MS symptom severity.Conclusions: Comorbidities substantially impact employment outcomes and these effects were mainlymediated through MS symptom severity. This suggests that optimal and simultaneous management ofcomorbidities may be a viable strategy to reduce MS symptom severity, which in turn could improveemployment outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Chen, Jing and Taylor, B and Winzenberg, T and Palmer, AJ and Kirk-Brown, A and van Dijk, P and Simpson Jr, S and Blizzard, L and van der Mei, I
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, comorbidity, symptom, depression, employment, work productivity
Journal or Publication Title: Multiple Sclerosis Journal
Publisher: Arnold
ISSN: 1352-4585
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/1352458519872644
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 The Authors

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