Asthma Negatively Affects Work Productivity Worldwide

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Findings were based on international survey of patients using long-term maintenance medication.

HealthDay News — Worldwide, asthma patients report that work time is adversely affected by their condition, despite the use of long-term maintenance medication, according to a study published online July 11 in the Journal of Asthma and Allergy.

Kevin Gruffydd-Jones, B.M., B.Ch., from Box Surgery in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an online survey to assess the impact of uncontrolled asthma on work productivity in adults receiving asthma maintenance therapy worldwide. In total, 1,598 employed, symptomatic adults in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom completed the survey.

The researchers found that the average percentage of work hours missed in a single week due to asthma symptoms was 9.3 percent but ranged from 3.5 percent in the United Kingdom to 17.4 percent in Brazil. Nearly three-quarters of patients reported that asthma impacted their productivity at work. When including both time off and productivity while at work due to asthma, overall work productivity loss was 36 percent with a range of 21 percent in the United Kingdom to 59 percent in Brazil. Respondents reported tiredness, weakness, and mental strain as challenges as well as concerns about the perception of colleagues and feelings of inferiority.

“Clinicians, employers, and occupational health teams should be more aware of the impact of asthma symptoms on employees, and work together to help overcome these challenges,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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