Diabetic Neuropathy Costs Billions Per Year in Lost Work Time

Article ID: 534042

Released: 5-Oct-2007 7:00 AM EDT

Source Newsroom: Geisinger Health System

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Newswise — Workers who have diabetes with neuropathic symptoms such as numbness or tingling in feet or hands lose the equivalent of 1.4 hours a week or $3.65 billion per year in health-related lost productive time, a recent study finds.

The 1.4 hours lost was more than twice the amount of lost time of diabetic workers without neuropathic symptoms. For this reason, individuals with diabetes are much more likely to be unemployed.

Geisinger Center for Health Research investigators looked at 19,075 working adults, including 1,003 who were diagnosed with diabetes. Of these workers, 38% reported diabetes-related numbness or tingling in their feet or hands.

When the investigators compared health-related lost productive time, it was 18% higher in diabetics with symptoms and 5% higher in diabetics without symptoms.

Those with diabetes were about twice more likely than those without diabetes to be unemployed.

Walter "Buzz" Stewart and colleagues published their study in a recent edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Pfizer Incorporated supported this research.


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