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The effect of community-acquired bacteraemia on return to workforce, risk of sick leave, permanent disability pension and death: a Danish population-based cohort study
  1. Michael Dalager-Pedersen1,2,
  2. Kristoffer Koch2,3,
  3. Reimar Wernich Thomsen2,
  4. Henrik Carl Schønheyder3,
  5. Henrik Nielsen1
  1. 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus N, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Clinical Microbiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Dalager-Pedersen; midp{at}


Objectives Little is known about the prognosis of community-acquired bacteraemia (CAB) in workforce adults. We assessed return to workforce, risk for sick leave, disability pension and mortality within 1 year after CAB in workforce adults compared with blood culture-negative controls and population controls.

Design Population-based cohort study.

Setting North Denmark, 1996–2011.

Participants We used population-based healthcare registries to identify all patients aged 20–58 years who had first-time blood cultures obtained within 48 h of medical hospital admission, and who were part of the workforce (450 bacteraemia exposed patients and 6936 culture-negative control patients). For each bacteraemia patient, we included up to 10 matched population controls.

Primary and secondary outcome measures Return to workforce, risk of sick leave, permanent disability pension and mortality within 1 year after bacteraemia. Regression analyses were used to compute adjusted relative risks (RRs) with 95% CIs.

Results One year after admission, 78% of patients with CAB, 85.7% of culture-negative controls and 96.8% of population controls were alive and in the workforce, and free from sick leave or disability pension. Compared with culture-negative controls, bacteraemia was associated with an increased risk for long-term sick leave (4-week duration, 40.2% vs 23.9%, adjusted RR, 1.51; CI 1.34 to 1.70) and an increased risk for mortality (30-day mortality, 4% vs 1.4%, adjusted RR, 2.34, CI 1.22 to 4.50; 1-year mortality, 8% vs 3.9%, adjusted RR, 1.73; CI 1.18 to 2.55). Bacteraemia patients had a risk for disability pension similar to culture-negative controls (2.7% vs 2.6%, adjusted RR, 0.99, CI 0.48 to 2.02) but greater than population controls (adjusted RR, 5.20; 95% CI 2.16 to 12.50).

Conclusions CAB is associated with long duration of sick leave and considerable mortality in working-age adults when compared with blood culture-negative controls, and an increased 1-year risk for disability pension when compared with population controls.

  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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