Work disability due to cardiovascular diseases in newly diagnosed patients in Ukraine during the first year of the war (2022) compared to prior nine years (2013-2021): a 10-year retrospective study

Keywords: Ukraine, war, stress, work disability, cardivascular diseases


Aim: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a significant problem in Ukraine, accounting for over 60% of all deaths in the country. It is expected that the ongoing Russian aggression will augment this problem. The study aimed to analyze the trends of work disability due to CVDs in newly-diagnosed patients between 2013 and 2022.

Methods: This retrospective study included data obtained from the official document “Report on the Causes of Disability and Indications for Medical, Professional, and Social Rehabilitation” commissioned by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. The data on disability due to CVD were obtained from 24 regions and the city of Kyiv for 2013-2022.

Results: Between 2013 and 2022, the average incidence of work disability due to CVD per 10000 working-age individuals was 9.86. Among these disabilities, cerebrovascular diseases accounted for the highest proportion, followed by ischemic heart disease (IHD). The incidence of CVD-related primary disabilities displayed a variable upward trend over the observed period, with cerebrovascular diseases and hypertensive diseases showing clear upward trends. Compared to 2021, in the year 2022 (corresponding to the beginning of the Russian aggression) an 20% increase has been observed for CVDs, while for cerebrovascular diseases, IHD, hypertensive disease, acute rheumatic fever, and chronic rheumatic heart disease the increase was 20%, 18%, 22%, and 14%, respectively. The CVD-related work disability varied substantially in different regions of Ukraine.

Conclusions: During the first year of the war in Ukraine (the year 2022) there was an increase in primary disability due to CVD compared to the period between 2013 and 2021. This may be associated with war-related psychosocial factors and global impact on CVD. The regions in southwestern parts of Ukraine proved to be especially prone to this increase requiring special attention.

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