A study that considered the effect of juvenile idiopathic arthritis on attaining education and successful employment in adulthood delivered bad news. Even with early treatment, some juvenile arthritis patients cross into adulthood dealing with consequences of the disease, such as joint damage, disability, and poorer quality of life. According to the report, which was published online in Arthritis & Rheumatism, there are significantly higher rates of unemployment in adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis compared to their healthy counterparts.
There were 103 study participants (22 males and 81 females) with a median age of 24 years and a median duration of juvenile arthritis of 19 years. They were asked questions about their educational and employment status and they also completed a Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) to evaluate functional disability. Results of the HAQ revealed that functional disability was lower in employed patients and in those with oligoarticular juvenile arthritis (affecting 4 or fewer joints). As you might expect, patients who graduated from high school were able to obtain better jobs. There was a positive correlation between job stability and educational achievement and a negative correlation between job stability and functional disability. Career path should be carefully considered by those with juvenile arthritis.
- Children Can Develop Juvenile Arthritis
- Juvenile Arthritis Screening Quiz
- 2011 ACR Recommendations for the Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Photo by Nuno Silva (istockphoto)