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.
Why Chronic Stress Could be Making You Unhealthy, Unhappy and Just Plain Tired
If youre feeling a bit overwhelmed these days, youre not the only one.
In todays always-connected world, its practically impossible to hop off the hamster wheel and give yourself some much-needed downtime.
So you continue to burn the candle at both ends. And youre stressed all the time.
As a result, your health suffers. And so does your mood.
Because the reality is that your body simply isnt designed to handle the chronic stress that comes with modern life.
You see, when you become stressed, your body automatically reacts with a fight-or-flight response.
And your body quite literally cant tell the difference between encountering a man-eating saber tooth tiger and being stuck in a traffic jam.
So when you start to feel anxious (no matter what the cause) your body immediately begins pumping out cortisol and other stress hormones.
In the short-term, these stress hormones help give you extra strength and stamina. by raising your blood pressure and heart rate. And by directing blood away from your digestive system to your heart and large muscles.
That gives you enough extra strength to outrun that saber tooth tiger. Or to lift a car to save a trapped toddler.
And thats helpful when youre only experiencing short-term stress like running from that tiger.
But heres the problem
Why Chronic Stress Could be Destroying Your Health
When youre stressed out all the time at work, at home, even on vacation your adrenal glands continue to pump out additional stress hormones like cortisol.
As a result, your cortisol levels skyrocket. Even if your only threat is being late to an important meeting having an argument with your spouse or dealing with children who dont listen.
And that puts continuous strain on your body. Which makes you feel upset, sad and simply worn out.
It can also quickly eat away at your health:
making you more likely
to catch colds
keeping your body from healing properly
increasing your chances of gaining weight
interfering with your sleep
impacting your ability to
causing you to age faster
making you feel sad and unmotivated
giving you gastrointestinal problems
causing your blood sugar level to become out of whack
and even damaging
What to do When Standard Stress Relief Strategies Just Dont Work
Now you probably already know that stress is bad for you.
And you may have tried many different things to try to lower your stress. Like meditating. Getting a massage. Or doing deep breathing exercises.
But if youre like many of the patients I see, it simply isnt enough.
The good news is that there is a NATURAL way to reduce the effects this stress has on your body and your mood.
The powerful herb Im about to tell you about actually REDUCES the amount of cortisol in your system. And this releases your tension, letting you remain calm and cope better.
So you can keep your cool even when dealing with the daily pressures of your everyday life.
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.