Palstam A, Westerlind E, Sunnerhagen KS, Persson HC
BMC Public Health 21 (1) 1914 [2021-10-21; online 2021-10-21]
Sick-leave due to COVID-19 vary in length and might lead to re-current episodes. The aim was to investigate recurrent sick leave due to COVID-19 during the first wave. This is a registry-based cohort study. The study comprises all people with sickness benefit due to COVID-19 in Sweden in March 1-August 31, 2020. Data from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, and Statistics Sweden were merged. Within the follow-up period of 4 months, 11,955 people were subject to sickness benefit due to COVID-19, whereof 242 people (2.0%) took recurrent sick leave due to COVID-19, and of those 136 (56.2%) remained on sick leave at the end of follow-up. People with recurrent sick leave were older, more often women, and more likely to have been on sick leave prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. A group of people presented with recurrent sick leave due to COVID-19. For half of them, the second sick leave lasted throughout the follow-up. People with recurrent sick leave differ in several aspects from those with shorter sick leave. To capture long-term sick-leave patterns due to COVID-19, a longer period of follow-up is needed.