Return to the Workforce Following First Hospitalization for Heart Failure: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study
Background—Return to work is important financially, as a marker of functional status and for self-esteem in patients developing chronic illness. We examined return to work after first heart failure (HF) hospitalization.
Methods—By individual-level linkage of nationwide Danish registries, we identified 21455 patients of working age (18-60 years) with a first HF hospitalization in the period of 1997-2012. Of these 11880 (55%) were in the workforce prior to HF hospitalization and comprised the study population. We applied logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) for associations between age, sex, length of hospital stay, level of education, income, comorbidity and return to work.
Results—One year after first HF hospitalization, 8040 (67.7%) returned to the workforce, 2981 (25.1%) did not, 805 (6.7%) died and 54 (0.5%) emigrated. Predictors of return to work included younger age (18-30 vs. 51-60 years, OR 3.12; 95% CI 2.42-4.03), male sex (OR 1.22 [1.18-1.34]) and level of education (long-higher vs. basic school OR 2.06 [1.63-2.60]). Conversely, hospital stay >7 days (OR 0.56 [0.51-0.62]) and comorbidity including history of stroke (OR 0.55 [0.45-0.69]), chronic kidney disease (OR 0.46 [0.36-0.59]), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR 0.62 [0.52-0.75]), diabetes (OR 0.76 [0.68-0.85]) and cancer (OR 0.49 [0.40-0.61]) were all significantly associated with lower chance of return to work.
Conclusions—Patients in the workforce prior to HF hospitalization had low mortality but high risk of detachment from the workforce one year later. Young age, male sex, and higher level of education were predictors of return to work.
- Received February 3, 2016.
- Revision received July 11, 2016.
- Accepted July 18, 2016.