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Gallup: Depression causes $23 billion in absenteeism

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Workers who report having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives miss more work due to poor health than other colleagues.

Three analysts at Gallup are reporting that conclusion in a summary of results drawn from the company’s 2011 and 2012 daily tracking surveys, which reached about 304,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

The analysts found that full-time workers who have been depressed average 8.7 days of missed work due to poor health per year, or 4.3 more days per year than the average for other survey participants.

“Those who have depression or a history of depression miss more than four additional days per year as a function of poor health, after controlling for age, gender, income, education, race/ethnicity, region, marital status and obesity classification,” the analysts said.

Part-time workers said they missed an average of 13.7 days of work per year due to poor health, or 5 days more than the average for other part-time workers.

The analysts estimated that the dollar value of the extra absenteeism could be about $23 billion per year.

The $23 billion total does not include the cost of extra medical care or mental health care for the workers who have suffered from depression.

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