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Average lost work productivity due to non-fatal injuries by type in the USA
  1. Cora Peterson,
  2. Likang Xu,
  3. Sarah Beth L Barnett
  1. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cora Peterson, CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA; cora.peterson{at}


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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  • Contributors CP led the study design and interpretation of results and drafted the manuscript. LX and CP conducted data analysis. LX and SBB assisted with the study design and interpretation of results. All authors edited the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are publicly available from a third party.