Researchers say osteoarthritis carries high costs in missed workdays
In the report, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine,researchers from Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y., used a large national database to assess the impact of osteoarthritis on absenteeism among working Americans. The results showed that about 0.8 percent of women and 0.3 percent of men had osteoarthritis.
Caused by breakdown of joint cartilage, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. As shown by the new data, osteoarthritis is common even among younger, working-age adults. What's more, researchers said it often goes undiagnosed until the disease has progressed.
John A. Rizzo, lead author of the study, said osteoarthritis increased the probability of any missed workdays by about 90 percent in women and 65 percent in men -- more so than common conditions such as anxiety disorder, asthma or diabetes. Workers with osteoarthritis also had more missed workdays, with average per capita absenteeism costs of $469 for women and $520 for men.
"This was roughly the earnings equivalent of three days' worth of work for both genders," Rizzo said.
Extrapolated to the entire country, the results suggested that osteoarthritis increases absenteeism costs by $10.3 billion per year -- $5.5 billion for women and $4.8 billion for men.
"Unfortunately, reliable tests for early detection of osteoarthritis are still in development and current treatment options for delaying or preventing disease progression are few," Rizzo said.
Read more at the WORKERSCOMP ForumTM homepage.
April 22, 2010
Copyright 2010© LRP Publications