Lost productive time and costs due to diabetes and diabetic neuropathic pain in the US workforce

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jun;49(6):672-9. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318065b83a.


Objective: Estimate the impact of diabetes and neuropathic pain on the US workforce.

Methods: Data on lost productive time (LPT) was collected by telephone interview in a random sample of the US population (N=36,634). Of 19,075 occupation-eligible working adults included in the analysis, 1003 reported a physician diagnosis of diabetes; 38% of these reported numbness or tingling in feet or hands due to diabetes (symptom group). We compared diabetes respondents with and without symptoms to other respondents for LPT and related cost.

Results: Health-related LPT was 18% higher in the symptom (P<0.05) and 5% higher in the non-symptom (P<0.05) groups versus for those without diabetes. The symptom group lost 1.4 hours of work per week more than the non-symptom group (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Workers who have diabetes with neuropathic symptoms lose the equivalent of $3.65 billion/yr in health-related LPT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus / classification*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / classification*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / physiopathology
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United States / epidemiology