Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reason For Sickness Absence Can Predict Employee Deaths

Date:
October 5, 2008
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Employees who take long spells of sick leave more than once in three years are at a higher risk of death than their colleagues who take no such absence, particularly if their absence is due to circulatory or psychiatric problems or for surgery, concludes a new study.

Employees who take long spells of sick leave more than once in three years are at a higher risk of death than their colleagues who take no such absence, particularly if their absence is due to circulatory or psychiatric problems or for surgery, concludes a study on the British Medical Journal website.

Previous research shows that medically certified sickness absences may well capture the full range of illnesses employees experience and that they could be a good global measure of health differentials between employees. It has been suggested that the specific reasons for absence such as psychiatric problems or heart disease may improve the prediction of premature death.

Jenny Head from University College London and colleagues investigated whether the reason for sickness absence improved the prediction of death compared with overall sickness absence irrespective of diagnosis.

They obtained sickness absence records for 6,478 British civil servants between 1985 and 1988 and analysed associations with death until 2004.

They found that deaths increased as the medically certified absence rates (spells of more than 7 days) increased. The almost 30% of men and women who had one or more medically certified absence in three years had a 66% increased risk of premature death than those with no such absence.

The authors report that by including the diagnosis for sickness absence they significantly improved the prediction of the risk of death. For instance, employees taking sickness absences due to circulatory disease were four times more likely to die prematurely than their colleagues with no absence. Those who took absence due to psychiatric diseases were nearly twice as likely to die prematurely, and those with a surgical operation diagnosis were more than twice as likely.

Interestingly, one or more spells of absence with a psychiatric diagnosis was predictive of a two and a half fold increase in cancer related death.

However, employees taking spells of sickness absence with a musculoskeletal diagnosis were not at increased risk of death compared to their colleagues who took no absence.

The authors conclude that the monitoring of reasons for sickness absence could contribute to identifying groups at increased health risks and who need a targeted intervention.

In an accompanying editorial, Johannes Anema and Allard van der Beek from the VU University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, suggest that specific diagnostic information on sickness absence could provide general practitioners with "a useful biopsychosocial tool" to identify workers with an increased risk of serious illness or risk of death.

In addition, Anema and van der Beek say that this tool could also be used to identify employees with work related health problems such as stress and high job demands, for targeted intervention by occupational physicians.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Reason For Sickness Absence Can Predict Employee Deaths." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002204428.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2008, October 5). Reason For Sickness Absence Can Predict Employee Deaths. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002204428.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Reason For Sickness Absence Can Predict Employee Deaths." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081002204428.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins