PURPOSE: Many patients diagnosed with lymphoma are of working age. Cancer patients are known to have a higher risk of sick leave and disability pension, but this has only been delineated for certain subtypes of lymphoma. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the overall risk of disability pension for all lymphoma subtypes and at quantifying return to work for patients with lymphoma in work before diagnosis.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients aged 18-60 years with lymphoma in complete remission (CR) diagnosed between 2000 and 2019 were included in the study. Using national registers, each patient was matched with five comparators from the general population with same sex, birth year, and level of Charlson Comorbidity Index. Risk of disability pension was calculated from 90 days after CR or end of treatment with competing events (death, retirement pension, early retirement pension, relapse for patients, or lymphoma diagnosis for comparators). Return to work for patients was calculated annually until 5 years after diagnosis for patients employed before diagnosis.
RESULTS: In total, 4072 patients and 20,360 comparators were included. There was a significant increased risk of disability pension for patients with all types of lymphoma compared to the general population (5-year risk difference: 5.3 (95% confidence interval (CI): 4.4;6.2)). Patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma were more likely to get disability pension than patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (sex- and age-adjusted 10-year risk difference: 2.9 (95% CI: 0.3;5.5)). One year after diagnosis, 24.5% of the relapse-free patients were on sick leave. Return to work was highest 2 years after diagnosis (82.1%).
CONCLUSION: Patients with lymphoma across all subtypes have a significantly higher risk of disability pension. Return to work peaks at 2 years after diagnosis.