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Average lost work productivity due to non-fatal injuries by type in the USA


Objective To estimate the average lost work productivity due to non-fatal injuries in the USA comprehensively by injury type.

Methods The attributable average number and value of lost work days in the year following non-fatal emergency department (ED)–treated injuries were estimated by injury mechanism (eg, fall) and body region (eg, head and neck) among individuals age 18–64 with employer health insurance injured 1 October 2014 through 30 September 2015 as reported in MarketScan medical claims and Health and Productivity Management databases. Workplace, short-term disability and workers’ compensation absences were assessed. Multivariable regression models compared lost work days among injury patients and matched controls during the year following injured patients’ ED visit, controlling for demographic, clinical and health insurance factors. Lost work days were valued using an average US daily market production estimate. Costs are 2015 USD.

Results The 1-year per-person average number and value of lost work days due to all types of non-fatal injuries combined were approximately 11 days and US$1590. The range by injury mechanism was 1.5 days (US$210) for bites and stings to 44.1 days (US$6196) for motorcycle injuries. The range by body region was 4.0 days (US$567) for other head, face and neck injuries to 19.8 days (US$2787) for traumatic brain injuries.

Conclusions and relevance Injuries are costly and preventable. Accurate estimates of attributable lost work productivity are important to monitor the economic burden of injuries and help to prioritise cost-effective public health prevention activities.

  • public health
  • mechanism
  • barell matrix
  • costs

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