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Med J Aust. 2006 Dec 4-18;185(11-12):637-41.

Estimating the cost of alcohol-related absenteeism in the Australian workforce: The importance of consumption patterns.

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1
National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia. ken.pidd@flinders.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the extent and cost of alcohol-related absenteeism in the Australian workforce.

DESIGN:

A secondary analysis of select data obtained from 13 582 Australian workers (aged > or = 14 years) collected as part of the 2001 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Self-reported measures of alcohol-related absenteeism, illness or injury absenteeism and alcohol consumption categorised according to National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines for short- and long-term risk.

RESULTS:

The use of self-reported measures of alcohol-related absenteeism resulted in an estimate of 2,682,865 work days lost due to alcohol use in 2001, at a cost of 437 million dollars. The use of self-reported measures of illness or injury absenteeism to determine the extent of absenteeism attributable to alcohol use resulted in an estimate of 7,402,341 work days lost, at a cost of 1 .2 billion dollars. These estimates are about 12 to 34 times greater than previous estimates based on national data. Low-risk drinkers and infrequent or occasional risky and high-risk drinkers accounted for 49%-66% of alcohol-related absenteeism.

CONCLUSIONS:

The extent and cost of alcohol-related absenteeism is far greater than previously reported, and more than half the burden of alcohol-related absenteeism is incurred by low-risk drinkers and those who infrequently drink heavily.

PMID:
17181511
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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