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Laryngoscope. 2012 Jul;122(7):1589-94. doi: 10.1002/lary.23197. Epub 2012 May 1.

The impact of laryngeal disorders on work-related dysfunction.

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Duke Voice Care Center, Division of Otolaryngology -Head and Neck Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



To determine the short-term disability (STD) and lost work productivity related to laryngeal disorders.


A retrospective analysis of a national database of work absence and STD claims was performed.


Patients with 12 months of follow-up who had an STD claim specifically linked to a dysphonia diagnosis based on ICD-9 codes were identified during the period of January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2008. Patient age, sex, and diagnosis and the total number of work days absent were determined. Using the mean national hourly wage, productivity losses in terms of lost wages were calculated.


Of the 18,466 unique patients with an STD claim, 386 (2.1%) had an STD claim due to a laryngeal disorder. The mean age was 45.9 years (standard deviation, 9.6) with 53.2% male. The mean number of work days absent was 39.2 days (95% confidence interval: 31.9-46.5). Total STD payments in 2008 dollars were $647,269.30 with a mean per person in 12 months of $3,406.68. Total and mean lost wages in 12 months were $843,198.72 and $4,437.89, respectively. Patients with laryngeal cancer had the most days absent and highest total STD payment.


Laryngeal disorders lead to work-related disability with STD and productivity losses and represent a significant societal burden. Managing work limitations from laryngeal disorders is an important public health goal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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