The study also looked at the cost to employers of lost productivity for worker absences due to sickness, finding that employers paid $48 billion for time not worked because of employee illness in 2003. Reduced productivity because of sickness cost employers $27 billion.
Nearly 30% of workers reported health problems in 2003, with 44% saying they took one to five sick days because of these problems and 20% saying they took six or more sick days.
The study showed that employees on average missed more than 10 days for the following chronic conditions:
- Depression/Sadness/Mental Illness, 25.6 days;
- Cancer, 16.9 days;
- Respiratory Disorders, 14.7 days;
- Asthma, 12 days;
- Migraine/Headache, 10.7 days;
- Allergy, 8.2 days
- Heart Disease, 6.8 days;
- Arthritis, 5.9 days; and
- Diabetes, 2 days.
On a national level, employers saw a $23.1-billion impact for asthma-related absences, $2.75 billion for diabetes-related absences and $4.6 billion for hypertension-related absences.
California employers saw the greatest annual costs stemming from absenteeism caused by asthma ($2.9 billion) and diabetes ($312 million). Texas took the second spot for both asthma ($1.52 billion) and diabetes ($232 million).
The study also showed the costs to employers of workers with a chronic condition who come to work, but lag behind in productivity because of their condition. Arthritis, which ranks as the condition with the heaviest presenteeism, costs ($252 per employee), followed by hypertension ($247 per employee) and depression/sadness/mental illness ($246 per employee).
Respiratory disorders were the least costly ($33 per employee), followed by heart disease ($71 per employee).
For the full AHA report go here .