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vol. 54
Review paper

Social implications of rheumatic diseases

Anna Kłak
Filip Raciborski
Piotr Samel-Kowalik

Reumatologia 2016; 54, 2: 73-78
Online publish date: 2016/06/03
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Social consequences of a disease constitute limitations in performing roles relating to working life as well as family and social life caused by the disease, mainly chronic. The aim of the study was to analyze the social consequences of rheumatic diseases in the aspect of disability pensions with respect to incapacity for work and quality of life. The occurrence of rheumatic diseases is related not only to increased risk of different types of organic changes, but above all disability. In Europe almost 50% of persons suffering from diseases of the musculoskeletal system who are currently unemployed were breadwinners. Nearly 60% of them received legal disability status. The loss of work ability is, among other things, the consequence of progressive disability. In Europe 40% of persons suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had to stop working due to the disease. Most of the persons diagnosed with RA were of working age. It results in the decrease in the quality of life as well as economic difficulties (decreased incomes and increased disease-related costs). In Poland the results of the analysis of the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) of first-time disability recognition issued for the purpose of disability pensions in 2014 showed that the incapacity for work was caused by diseases relating to general health condition (65.5%). Diseases of the musculoskeletal system were the cause of partial inability to work of 21.6% of persons who received a disability pension for the first time (as many as 5,349 certificates were issued). Early diagnosis and implementation of effective treatment are the necessary conditions for a patient to sustain activity, both professional and social, which is of crucial importance to reduce the negative effects of the disease.

rheumatic diseases, social effects, disability pensions

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