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 31, 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 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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