Objective: This study seeks to quantify the effects of osteoarthritis on the cost of absenteeism from work.
Methods: This study performs multivariable analyses to examine the relationships between osteoarthritis and annual cost to employers that is associated with absenteeism. The cost is measured as the probability of absenteeism, days missed from work, and their dollar values, all indirect costs.
Results: Osteoarthritis leads to a significantly higher probability of absenteeism and more days missed from work. Osteoarthritis increases annual per capita absenteeism costs by $469 for female workers and by $520 for male workers. This is equivalent to approximately 3 lost workdays. Aggregate annual absenteeism costs are $10.3 billion (women = $5.5 billion; men = $4.8 billion).
Conclusions: Aggregate annual absenteeism costs of osteoarthritis are quite substantial as measured by the probability of absenteeism, days missed from work, and their dollar values, compared with other major chronic diseases.