Rev Soc Bras Med Trop. 2022 Aug 5;55:e0111. doi: 10.1590/0037-8682-0111-2022. eCollection 2022.
BACKGROUND: Infection with the human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) affects an estimated 10-15 million people worldwide. However, knowledge of the impact of HTLV-1 infection on work ability is lacking. This study aimed to measure the frequency and identify factors associated with poor work ability in patients living with HTLV-1.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 207 individuals infected with HTLV-1 who attended the University Hospital in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. HTLV-1 antibodies were detected in the participants’ blood by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmed by western blotting. Participants answered a questionnaire on sociodemographic data, personal habits, clinical data, health-related quality of life, and work ability, evaluated using the work ability index questionnaire. A Poisson regression model with a robust variance estimate was used to identify the factors associated with the prevalence of poor work ability.
RESULTS: Patients mean age was 55.2, ranging from 19 to 84 years, 73.0% were females, 100% had monthly family income less than US$ 394, and 33.8% presented HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). No individual was classified as having excellent work ability. Poor work ability prevalence was strongly associated (prevalence ratio; 95% confidence interval [CI]) with sedentarism (1.30; 1.03-1.65), neurological symptoms (1.25; 1.02-1.52), and low physical (0.95; 0.94-0.96) and mental (0.98; 0.97-0.99) component summaries of health-related quality of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Poor work ability among people living with HTLV-1 is associated with sedentarism, neurologic symptoms, and low health-related quality of life.