The sociodemographic patterning of sick leave and determinants of longer sick leave after mild and severe COVID-19: a nationwide register-based study in Sweden.

Spetz M, Natt Och Dag Y, Li H, Nwaru C, Santosa A, Nyberg F, Rosvall M

Eur J Public Health - (-) - [2023-10-27; online 2023-10-27]

Studies on sociodemographic differences in sick leave after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are limited and research on COVID-19 long-term health consequences has mainly addressed hospitalized individuals. The aim of this study was to investigate the social patterning of sick leave and determinants of longer sick leave after COVID-19 among mild and severe cases. The study population, from the Swedish multi-register observational study SCIFI-PEARL, included individuals aged 18-64 years in the Swedish population, gainfully employed, with a first positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from 1 January 2020 until 31 August 2021 (n = 661 780). Using logistic regression models, analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic factors, vaccination, prior sick leave, comorbidities and stratified by hospitalization. In total, 37 420 (5.7%) individuals were on sick leave due to COVID-19 in connection with their first positive COVID-19 test. Individuals on sick leave were more often women, older, had lower income and/or were born outside Sweden. These differences were similar across COVID-19 pandemic phases. The highest proportion of sick leave was seen in the oldest age group (10.3%) with an odds ratio of 4.32 (95% confidence interval 4.18-4.47) compared with the youngest individuals. Among individuals hospitalized due to COVID-19, the sociodemographic pattern was less pronounced, and in some models, even reversed. The intersectional analysis revealed considerable variability in sick leave between sociodemographic groups (range: 1.5-17.0%). In the entire Swedish population of gainfully employed individuals, our findings demonstrated evident sociodemographic differences in sick leave due to COVID-19. In the hospitalized group, the social patterning was different and less pronounced.

Category: Health

Category: Public Health

Funder: KAW/SciLifeLab

Funder: VR

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37889580

DOI 10.1093/eurpub/ckad191

Crossref 10.1093/eurpub/ckad191

pii: 7331116

Publications 9.5.0