American Diabetes Association
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Productivity Loss and Medical Costs Associated with Type 2 Diabetes Among Employees Aged 18–64 years with Large Employer-Sponsored Insurance

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posted on 2022-09-01, 17:30 authored by Joohyun Park, Elizabeth T. Bigman, Ping ZhangPing Zhang



To estimate productivity losses and costs and medical costs due to type 2 diabetes (T2D) among employees aged 18–64 years. 

Research Design and Methods

Using 2018-2019 MarketScan® databases, we identified employees with T2D or no diabetes among those with records on workplace absences, short-term disability (STD), and long-term disability (LTD). We estimated per capita mean annual time loss attributable to T2D and their associated costs, calculated by multiplying time loss by average hourly wage. We estimated direct medical costs of T2D in total and by service type (inpatient, outpatient, and prescription drugs). We used two-part models (productivity losses and costs and inpatient and drug costs) and generalized linear models (total and outpatient costs) for overall and subgroup analyses by age and sex.  All costs were in 2019 USD. 


Employees with T2D had 4.2 excess days lost (20.8 vs 20.3 absences, 6.4 vs 3.3 STD days, and 1.0 vs 0.4 LTD days) than those without diabetes. Productivity costs were 13.3% ($680) higher and medical costs were double (total $11,354 vs $5,101; outpatient $4,558 vs $2,687, inpatient $3,085 vs $1,349, prescription drugs $4,182 vs $1,189) for employees with T2D. Employees aged 18−34 years had higher STD days and outpatient costs. Females had more absences and STD days and higher outpatient costs than males. 


T2D contributes nearly $7,000 higher annual per capita costs, mostly due to excess medical costs. Our estimates may assist employers to assess potential financial gains from efforts to help workers prevent or better manage T2D. 


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