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The Relationship Between Health Risks and Health and Productivity Costs Among Employees at Pepsi Bottling Group

Henke, Rachel M. PhD; Carls, Ginger S. PhD; Short, Meghan E. MPH; Pei, Xiaofei PhD; Wang, Shaohung PhD; Moley, Susan BBA; Sullivan, Mark BA; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 5 - p 519-527
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181dce655
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate relationships between modifiable health risks and costs and measure potential cost savings from risk reduction programs.

Methods: Health risk information from active Pepsi Bottling Group employees who completed health risk assessments between 2004 and 2006 (N = 11,217) were linked to medical care, workers' compensation, and short-term disability cost data. Ten health risks were examined. Multivariate analyses were performed to estimate costs associated with having high risk, holding demographics, and other risks constant. Potential savings from risk reduction were estimated.

Results: High risk for weight, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol had the greatest impact on total costs. A one-percentage point annual reduction in the health risks assessed would yield annual per capita savings of $83.02 to $103.39.

Conclusions: Targeted programs that address modifiable health risks are expected to produce substantial cost reductions in multiple benefit categories.

From Thomson Reuters (Dr Henke, Dr Carls, Ms Short, Dr Pei. Dr Wang, Dr Goetzel), Washington DC; Pepsi Bottling Group Inc (Ms Moley, Mr Sullivan), Somers, NY; and Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (Dr Goetzel), Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Washington, DC.

The opinions expressed in this paper are the authors' and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Thomson Reuters, Emory University, or Pepsi Bottling Group.

Address correspondence to: Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Thomson Reuters, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 330, Washington, DC 20008; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine