World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 763–771 | Cite as

Labour Market Participation After Emergency Laparotomy: A Nationwide Cohort Study with Long-Term Follow-Up

  • Lau Caspar ThygesenEmail author
  • Ismail Gögenur
Original Scientific Report (including Papers Presented at Surgical Conferences)



Many patients who undergo emergency laparotomy are working, which is a key determinant for an individual’s socio-economic status and financial security. The objectives of this study were to compare labour market participation and sick leave in a nationwide patient population undergoing non-malignant emergency resections with a matched reference population.


This nationwide prospective cohort study included all patients aged 18+ years undergoing emergency laparotomy for non-malignant disease resulting in intestinal resections, ostomy or drainage at Danish hospitals 2003–2014 and who were active on the labour market (n = 2895). We included a sex- and age-matched reference population (n = 11,422) and followed all persons in nationwide registers. We used survival analyses and logistic regression.


The proportion of people active in the labour market was 85% and 66% 1 and 2 years after surgery compared to 96% and 79% among the reference population. The hazard ratio of dropout was 1.15 (95% CI 1.05–1.25, p = 0.002) among patients compared to reference population. Increased dropout was observed for disability pension (2.58; 2.14–3.11; p < 0.0001), while patients did not have increased rate of age-related pensions. The proportion on sick leave was 66% the month following surgery compared to 3–4% among references. The proportion decreased thereafter but was higher up to 3 years after surgery.


This nationwide study including all patients undergoing resections demonstrated marked increase in disability pensioning and sick leave after surgery compared to a matched reference group. This supports the need for interventions and programmes during hospital stay and after discharge focusing on labour market participation.



This study received grants from Frimodt-Heinecke fonden and Fabrikant Frands Køhler Nielsens og Hustrus mindelegat. The funders had no influence on study design, data collection, analysis, manuscript preparation or publication.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Public HealthUniversity of Southern DenmarkCopenhagen KDenmark
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryZealand University HospitalKøgeDenmark
  3. 3.Institute for Clinical MedicineCopenhagen University and Danish Colorectal Cancer GroupCopenhagenDenmark

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