Objective: To estimate the impact of medication adherence on absenteeism and short-term disability among employees with chronic disease.
Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of administrative health care claims, absenteeism, and short-term disability data using multivariate regression and instrumental variable models for five cohorts of employees: diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, dyslipidemia, and asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Adherence was defined as possessing medication on at least 80% of days during follow-up.
Results: Adherent employees with diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease realized between 1.7 and 7.1 fewer days absent from work and between 1.1 and 5.0 fewer days on short-term disability. Absenteeism and short-term disability days by adherent employees with congestive heart failure were not significantly different from nonadherent employees with the condition in most specifications.
Conclusions: Appropriate management of chronic conditions can help employers minimize losses due to missed work.