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Original research article
Trajectories and characteristics of work disability before and after acute myocardial infarction


Objective Scientific knowledge on work disability in terms of sickness absence and disability pension (SA/DP) among patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is scarce. The study aimed to investigate trajectories of SA/DP among individuals with or without AMI and examined the associations between sociodemographic, morbidity and coronary revascularisation characteristics with such trajectories among patients with AMI.

Methods This is a population-based cohort study of 10 255 individuals aged 30–60 years who had a first AMI during 2008–2010 and were alive 30 days after AMI. Each case was matched by sociodemographics to one control without AMI. Trajectories of annual SA/DP months over a 6-year period for cases and controls were analysed by group-based trajectory modelling. Associations of characteristics with trajectory groups were estimated by Χ2 test and multinomial logistic regression.

Results The majority of patients (59%) had slightly increased annual levels of SA/DP (1 month) at the time of AMI, which returned to no SA/DP 2 years after the event. One group (4%) had increasing SA/DP months preceding and after AMI. Three groups showed constant SA/DP months on low (14%), medium (9%) and high (15%) levels. Sex, unemployment, education, musculoskeletal disorders and prescription of antidepressants were the strongest factors discriminating the SA/DP trajectories (R2 difference=0.02–0.03, p<0.01).

Conclusions The majority of patients with AMI have a good outcome in terms of low levels of work disability within 2 years after AMI. Patterns of SA/DP before AMI, sex, socioeconomic status as well as comorbid musculoskeletal and mental disorders provide crucial clinical information on work disability after AMI.

  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Sick leave
  • Disability pension
  • Insurance Medicine
  • Trajectory

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