Employment in refractory myasthenia gravis: A Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Registry analysis

Muscle Nerve. 2019 Dec;60(6):700-706. doi: 10.1002/mus.26694. Epub 2019 Oct 22.


Introduction: Labor-market participation is potentially very difficult for patients with refractory myasthenia gravis (MG). In this study, employment status and work absences are compared between refractory and nonrefractory MG.

Methods: Adults (aged 18-64 years, all diagnosed ≥2 years previously) were included if enrolled in the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Patient Registry during July 2013 to February 2018.

Results: Seventy-six patients (9.2%) had refractory and 749 (90.8%) had nonrefractory disease; demographic data did not differ between groups. Relative to the nonrefractory group, the refractory group patients were more than twice as likely to work fewer hours per week (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: currently employed, 2.777 [1.640-4.704]; employed over previous 6 months, 2.643 [1.595-4.380]), but those employed were not more likely to be absent from work.

Discussion: Because absence from the labor market adversely affects quality of life and personal finances, these findings reaffirm the considerable disease burden associated with refractory MG.

Keywords: MGFA Registry; absence from work; employment; myasthenia gravis; patient survey; refractory disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / physiopathology*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / therapy
  • Sick Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Failure
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult