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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31815dba5a
Original Articles

Objective Measurement of Work Absence and On-The-Job Productivity: A Case-Control Study of US Employees With and Without Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Wahlqvist, Peter MSc; Brook, Richard A. MS, MBA; Campbell, Sara M. MS; Wallander, Mari-Ann PhD; Alexander, Anne M. PhD; Smeeding, Jim E. RPh, MBA; Kleinman, Nathan L. PhD

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Objective: To establish an association between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and increased work absence, as well as reduced productivity while at work, by using objective productivity measurements.

Methods: Retrospective case-control analysis of a database containing US employees’ administrative health care and payroll data for employees (N = 11,653 with GERD; N = 255,616 without GERD) who were enrolled for at least one year in an employer-sponsored health insurance plan.

Results: Employees with GERD had 41% more sick leave days (P < 0.0001), 59% more short-term disability days (P < 0.0001), 39% more long-term disability days (P = 0.1910), 48% more workers’ compensation days (P < 0.0001), 4.4% lower objective productivity per hour worked (P = 0.0481), and 6.0% lower annual objective productivity (P = 0.0391) than the employees without GERD.

Conclusions: GERD is associated with a significant impact on employees’ work absence and productivity while at work as measured using objective data.

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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