Work productivity and activity impairment in gastroesophageal reflux disease in Korean full-time employees: a multicentre study

Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Apr;44(4):286-91. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2011.10.027. Epub 2012 Feb 9.


Introduction: The costs of gastroesophageal reflux disease have not been assessed in Asia, even though the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease is gradually increasing. We evaluated work presenteeism and absenteeism as indirect costs of gastroesophageal reflux disease in Korea.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional and multicentre study using patient-reported outcome instruments. A total of 1009 full-time employees who visited the gastrointestinal department for any reason (281 patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease and 728 controls) were included. Main outcomes were presenteeism and absenteeism measured as work productivity loss and monetary cost per week.

Results: Absenteeism and presenteeism were significantly higher in the gastroesophageal reflux disease than the control group (1.49% vs. 0.46%, P=0.0010; 34.13% vs. 9.23%, P<0.0001). Loss of work productivity was significantly greater in the gastroesophageal reflux disease than the control group (33.09% vs. 9.02%; P<0.0001). This loss of work productivity difference between the two groups represented an additional productivity loss of 11.7h/week in the gastroesophageal reflux disease group compared with the control group. Assuming average hourly wages of $14.12, the weekly burden of gastroesophageal reflux disease reached $165.07 per person.

Conclusions: Gastroesophageal reflux disease was associated with substantial work productivity loss, mainly due to presenteeism rather than absenteeism, in Korean full-time employees.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adult
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Efficiency*
  • Employment / economics
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / economics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Republic of Korea
  • Self Report
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Work / economics*