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Economic Burden of Urge Urinary Incontinence in the Workplace

Kleinman, Nathan L. PhD; Chen, Chieh-I MPH; Atkinson, Amy MS; Odell, Kevin PharmD; Zou, Kelly H. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2014 - Volume 56 - Issue 3 - p 266–269
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000085
Original Articles

Objective: Quantify incremental employee medical, pharmacy, sick leave, short- and long-term disability, and workers' compensation costs, absence days, and turnover associated with urge urinary incontinence (UUI) in employees.

Methods: This retrospective 2001–2011 database comparison of employees with UUI versus those without UUI (controls) included employees aged 18.5 to 64.0 years at index, with 6-month preindex and 12-month postindex health plan enrollment. Logistic and generalized linear models measured postindex costs, absences, and turnover.

Results: The study included 1448 employees with UUI and 337,796 controls. Employees with UUI had statistically significantly higher medical (131% higher), pharmacy (52%), sick leave (30%), and short-term disability (74%) costs and more sick leave (22%) and short-term disability (99%) days than controls (all P < 0.02).

Conclusions: Employees with UUI had 117% greater medical and pharmacy costs, 47% greater total absence costs, and 63% more absence days than employees without UUI.

From HCMS Group LLC (Dr Kleinman and Ms Atkinson), Cheyenne, Wyo; and Pfizer Inc (Ms Chen and Drs Odell and Zou), New York, NY.

Address correspondence to: Nathan L. Kleinman, PhD, HCMS Group LLC, 415 W 17th St, Ste 250, Cheyenne, WY 82001 (

This study was sponsored by Pfizer Inc.

Nathan L. Kleinman and Amy Atkinson are employees of HCMS Group LLC, who were paid consultants to Pfizer in connection with the study and the development of this manuscript. Chieh-I Chen, Kevin Odell, and Kelly H. Zou are employees of Pfizer Inc.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine