Worker study reveals high cost of osteoarthritis

March 18, 2010

American employers may be spending more than $10 billion a year on missed work time related to osteoarthritis, suggests a new study from Stony Brook University in New York.

According to a study abstract, researchers found that having osteoarthritis significantly affected the probability of missed work time -- more so than conditions such as asthma or diabetes. Women with osteoarthritis were 90 percent more likely to miss work and men were 65 percent more likely. The missed work time averaged out to be approximately three days per worker, costing employers an average of $469 per woman and $520 per man each year.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage.

The study was published in the March issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.