The burden of atrial fibrillation and other cardiac arrhythmias in an employed population: associated costs, absences, and objective productivity loss

J Occup Environ Med. 2010 Apr;52(4):383-91. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d967bc.


Objective: To establish the burden of atrial fibrillation (AF) and other cardiac arrhythmias (CA) in an employed population.

Methods: Regression model analysis comparing objective work output, employee turnover, comorbidity prevalence, total health benefit (health care, drug, sick leave, disability, workers' compensation) costs, and absence days for AF versus Non-AF and CA versus Non-CA cohorts, while controlling for differences in patient characteristics.

Results: Cohort sizes were 1403 (AF), 323,333 (Non-AF), 4497 (CA), and 318,917 (Non-CA) employees. Annual AF benefit costs exceeded Non-AF costs by $3958. CA costs exceeded Non-CA costs by $2897. AF and CA cohorts had significantly more sick leave and short-term disability absence days than Non-AF and Non-CA cohorts, respectively. Annual CA work output was significantly lower than Non-CA output.

Conclusions: AF and CA place significant cost, absence, and productivity burdens on employers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / economics*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / economics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost of Illness
  • Efficiency
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement / economics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / economics*
  • Occupational Health
  • Sick Leave / economics*
  • Workers' Compensation / economics
  • Young Adult