Evidence about the total cost of health, absence, short-term disability, and productivity losses was synthesized for 10 health conditions. Cost estimates from a large medical/absence database were combined with findings from several published productivity surveys. Ranges of condition prevalence and associated absenteeism and presenteeism (on-the-job-productivity) losses were used to estimate condition-related costs. Based on average impairment and prevalence estimates, the overall economic burden of illness was highest for hypertension ($392 per eligible employee per year), heart disease ($368), depression and other mental illnesses ($348), and arthritis ($327). Presenteeism costs were higher than medical costs in most cases, and represented 18% to 60% of all costs for the 10 conditions.
Data for 374,799 employees from six large employers were analyzed. Absence and disability losses constituted 29% of the total health and productivity related expenditures for physical health conditions, and 47% for all of the mental health conditions examined. The top-10 most costly physical health conditions were: angina pectoris; essential hypertension; diabetes mellitus; mechanical low back pain; acute myocardial infarction; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; back disorders not specified as low back; trauma to spine and spinal cord; sinusitis; and diseases of the ear, nose and throat or mastoid process. The most costly mental health disorders were: bipolar disorder, chronic maintenance; depression; depressive episode in bipolar disease; neurotic, personality and non-psychotic disorders; alcoholism;, anxiety disorders; schizophrenia, acute phase; bipolar disorders, severe mania; nonspecific neurotic, personality and non-psychotic disorders; and psychoses. Implications for employers and health plans in examining the health and productivity consequences of common health conditions are discussed.
At the academy of wellness, we conduct stress assessment using the latest biofeedback devices to minimize stress and mental health issues in the workplace.
Dr. George Grant, CEO of www.academyofwellness.com completed his doctorate degree at the University of Toronto and worked as a senior consultant for Health Canada at their Occupational Health & Safety Division, Health Protection Branch, Ottawa, ON.