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Diabetes Linked to Increased Workplace Absenteeism

Diabetes Linked to Increased Workplace Absenteeism
(Copyright DPC)

Friday, 17 November 2017 11:49 AM

Diabetes costs the U.S. economy in more ways than just added healthcare expenditures. A new analysis shows that lost productivity from unplanned absenteeism tied to diabetes costs U.S. employers an estimated $20.4 billion annually.

The findings were released in a new a new report, “The Cost of Diabetes in the U.S.: Economic and Well-Being Impact,” compiled as part of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. They are drawn from research by the American Diabetes Association, base on information drawn from more than 135,000 interviews.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, 11.5 percent of Americans – nearly 29 million – have diabetes. That includes about 6.3 percent of all full-time workers and 9.1 percent among part-timers.

The new Gallup report calculated that full-time workers with diabetes miss an average of 5.5 extra workdays per year, and part-time workers with diabetes (after reducing to half-day estimates) miss an additional 4.3 days.

This amounts to nearly 58 million additional days of unplanned missed work each year among workers diagnosed with diabetes, compared with their counterparts who do not have diabetes.

Assuming a cost of $354 per day for the average worker across occupations, lost productivity due to absenteeism related to diabetes costs employers $20.4 billion annually.

The analysis takes into accout age, gender, income, education, race/ethnicity, marital status, children in household, geography, and BMI weight class.

The report also calculates diabetes costs the U.S. economy $245.5 billion a year in total healthcare expenditures, according to a new report that tabulates the financial toll of the metabolic disorder.

For the one in 10 Americans with diabetes, that breaks down to an extra $8,480 annually, compared with those who have not been diagnosed with diabetes.

Since 2008, the national adult diabetes rate has risen 1 percentage point, elevating the current cost estimates.

Diabetes has become a major health problem in the U.S., resulting in significant costs to the U.S. economy. And healthcare utilization and unplanned absenteeism are only two potential ways that chronic conditions such as diabetes can affect it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 86 percent of the nation's $2.7 trillion in healthcare expenditures are tied to the management and treatment of chronic and mental health conditions.

"While most clinicians agree that managing diabetes improves health and reduces medical costs, the benefit to employers also extends to a more productive workforce," says Sheila Holcomb, vice president of Sharecare Diabetes Solution.

"An opportunity exists for employers to partner with the medical community, specifically Certified Diabetes Educators at local and regional hospitals, to offer diabetes education and training to their employees with diabetes. This collaboration has tangible and proven value for both the individual and the company's bottom line."

The overall diabetes rate and estimated healthcare costs are based on 135,426 telephone interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted Jan. 2-Sept. 30, 2017. The missed-work estimates among workers are based on 80,136 interviews with full- or part-time workers conducted Jan. 2-Oct. 15, 2017. Gallup conducts 500 telephone interviews daily, resulting in a sample that projects to an estimated 95 percent of all U.S. adults.

The margin of sampling error for diabetes prevalence for all U.S. adults is plus or minus 0.2 percentage points, while the margin of error for full-time workers is plus or minus 0.3 points and the rate for part-time workers is plus or minus 0.6 points.

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Lost productivity from unplanned absenteeism tied to diabetes costs U.S. employers an estimated $20.4 billion annually.
diabetes, worker, absenteeism
Friday, 17 November 2017 11:49 AM
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