To estimate indirect costs associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
This was a retrospective study using 1996–2006 US Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. Employed individuals were aged 18 to 65 years. A two-part model estimated the probability of time lost from work and annual number of workdays missed due to illness.
Sixty-seven percent (209/312) of RA individuals missed work versus 58% (52,046/89,734) of those without RA (P = 0.0007). Among individuals who missed work, those with RA missed more workdays annually than those without RA (
= 13.659, 9.879, respectively; P = 0.008). Incremental per capita costs in annual lost workdays between those with and without RA were $596. Estimated national indirect costs of RA-related absenteeism were $252 million annually.
Individuals with RA have higher probabilities of missing work and missing workdays than those without RA.