FRIDAY, July 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Endometriosis impacts the ability of middle-aged women to work, according to a study published online July 7 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

Henna-Riikka Rossi, from Oulu University Hospital in Finland, and colleagues evaluated how endometriosis is associated with self-rated work disability and sick leave. The Finnish Care Register for Health Care was used to identify 348 women with endometriosis and 3,487 women without endometriosis. Unemployment and disability days were ascertained from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland and the Finnish Center for Pensions registers.

The researchers found that endometriosis was associated with poor work ability at age 46 years (odds ratio, 1.62) and higher rates of absenteeism of >10 days (odds ratio, 1.53). Compared with women without endometriosis, women with endometriosis aged 46 to 48 years had more disability days (55.5 versus 45.5 days), but fewer unemployment days (40.6 versus 59.2 days). Through age 52, there were no differences observed in the risk for early retirement between the groups.

“For health care practitioners, we encourage recognition of the relevance of organizing timely care for endometriosis to promote work ability,” the authors write. “Notwithstanding impaired work ability and the need for sick leave, it is encouraging that we found no major risks of unemployment or early disability retirement at a late fertile age. Providing this information in patient counseling might be helpful to affected women, who might face a career-related crisis due to their diagnosis and worry about their employability over the years.”

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