The burden of allergies - and the capacity of medications to reduce this burden - in a heavy manufacturing environment
ABSTRACT This article addresses the observational findings of the first systematic study undertaken by a manufacturer to address the impact of allergies and use of allergy medications on health, safety, and productivity. It provides background for 3 other papers from the same project, including an evaluation of an intervention to promote appropriate medication use among affected employees, which appear in this issue. The observational data are developed on 10,714 employees from: 1) 2 employee surveys; 2) administrative databases monitoring employee absenteeism, workers compensation, short-term disability, and group health. The results show that health, productivity, absenteeism, workplace injury, and workers compensation measures register consistent declines as allergy severity levels increase. This pattern is present but less pronounced for the short-term disability and group health measures. In addition, among the 16 measures registering a significant allergy burden, 6 posted significant advantages for the use of nonsedating antihistamines relative to other medication regimens that included sedative antihistamines. These results document the burden of allergies and the capacity of medications to reduce this burden. Effective intervention programs that target this condition can achieve improved health, productivity, and related outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: An 'information gap' has been identified regarding the effects of chronic disease on occupational injury risk. We investigated the association of ischaemic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, depression and asthma with acute occupational injury in a cohort of manufacturing workers from 1 January 1997 through 31 December 2007. We used administrative data on real-time injury, medical claims, workplace characteristics and demographics to examine this association. We employed a piecewise exponential model within an Andersen-Gill framework with a frailty term at the employee level to account for inclusion of multiple injuries for each employee, random effects at the employee level due to correlation among jobs held by an employee, and experience on the job as a covariate. One-third of employees had at least one of the diseases during the study period. After adjusting for potential confounders, presence of these diseases was associated with increased hazard of injury: heart disease (HR 1.23, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.36), diabetes (HR 1.17, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.27), depression (HR 1.25, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.38) and asthma (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.287). Hypertension was not significantly associated with hazard of injury. Associations of chronic disease with injury risk were less evident for more serious reportable injuries; only depression and a summary health metric derived from claims remained significantly positive in this subset. Our results suggest that chronic heart disease, diabetes and depression confer an increased risk for acute occupational injury.Occupational and environmental medicine 10/2013; 71(3). DOI:10.1136/oemed-2013-101653 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To describe the proportions of workers with upper extremity (UE) symptoms and work limitations because of symptoms in a newly hired working population over a 3-year study period and to describe transitions between various outcome states.Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 05/2014; DOI:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000179 · 1.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To assess the cost outcomes of treatment approaches to care for back problems in a major self-insured workforce, using published guidelines to focus on low back pain.Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 05/2014; DOI:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000210 · 1.80 Impact Factor