Few studies have assessed the impact of co-morbid conditions amongst patients with arthritis. This study will quantify the impact co-morbid health conditions have on the labour force status and economic circumstances of people with arthritis. This study uses a microsimulation model, HealthWealthMOD, to quantify the impact of co-morbidities on the labour force participation and economic circumstances of 45- to 64-year-old Australians with arthritis. The results show that the probability of being out of the labour force increases with increasing number of co-morbidities. However, there was no statistically significant difference in the amount of weekly private income received by people with arthritis and no co-morbidities, and people with arthritis and one or two co-morbidities. However, those with arthritis and three or more co-morbidities received a weekly private income 72 % lower than people with arthritis alone (95 % CI -82, -57). People with arthritis and co-morbidities paid less in tax and received more in government transfer payments. As such, it is important to consider the co-morbid conditions an individual has when assessing the impact of arthritis on labour force participation and economic circumstances. People with arthritis that have multiple co-morbid conditions are likely to have their labour force participation and economic circumstances interrupted much more than those with arthritis only.
Schofield, D. J., Callander, E. J., Shrestha, R. N., Passey, M. E., Percival, R., & Kelly, S. (2014). How co-morbidities magnify the effect of arthritis on labour force participation and economic status: A costs of illness study in Australia. Rheumatology International, 34(4), 481-489. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-014-2967-5