Employment status before and after open heart valve surgery: A cohort study

Britt Borregaard*, Jordi S. Dahl, Ola Ekholm, Emil Fosbøl, Lars P.S. Riber, Kirstine L. Sibilitz, Sasja M. Pedersen, Thomas P.H. Rothberg, Maiken H. Nielsen, Selina K. Berg, Jacob E. Møller

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective Detachment from the workforce following open heart valve surgery is a burden for the patient and society. The objectives were to examine patterns of employment status at different time points and to investigate factors associated with a lower likelihood of returning to the workforce within six months. Methods A cohort study of patients aged 18-63 undergoing valvular surgery at a Danish tertiary centre from 2013-2017. Return to the workforce was defined as being employed, unemployed (still capable of working) or receiving paid leave of absence. The association between demographic-, clinical characteristics (including a surgical risk evaluation, EuroScore), and return to the workforce were investigated with a multivariable logistic regression model. Results In total, 1,395 consecutive patients underwent surgery, 347 were between 18 and 63 years and eligible for inclusion. Of those, 282 were attached to the workforce before surgery and included in the study. At the time of surgery, 79% were on paid sick leave. After six months, 21% of the patients (being part of the workforce before surgery), were still on sick leave. In the regression model, prolonged sick leave prior to surgery (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.23-0.79) and EuroScore ≥ 2.3 (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.21-0.74) significantly reduced the likelihood of returning to the workforce. Conclusion One-fifth of patients in the working-age were on sick leave six months after surgery. Prolonged sick leave prior to surgery and a EuroScore ≥2.3 were associated with a lower likelihood of returning to the workforce.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0240210
Issue number10
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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