Working people report sick more often in 2013

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DAK health evaluation: sudden increase in colds in the first half of the year

The long winter left its mark on health: Germans were more sick in the first half of 2013 than in the previous year. This has resulted in an evaluation of all sick reports from DAK Health insured persons in the first six months. Compared to the same period last year, the sick leave rose from 3.8 percent to 4.1 percent.

The bad weather may have played a crucial role in the increase in days lost. This can be seen from the fact that a remarkable number of people have dropped out of work due to colds this year. The number of respiratory infections soared. While coughing, bronchitis and pneumonia caused only 16.8 percent of all days absent in the first half of 2012, their share so far this year is 22.3 percent.

More working people are sick In total, more employees stayed at home because of an illness than in the first half of 2012. 38.7 percent of all working people obtained sick leave from their doctor at least once, compared to 34.6 percent in the previous year. The illnesses lasted an average of 11.6 days.

Mental complaints are the third most common cause of absenteeism After respiratory infections, diseases of the musculoskeletal system (e.g. back pain) and mental illnesses (e.g. depression) were responsible for most absenteeism in the job. These three diagnostic groups alone account for more than half of all days of incapacity for work. All in all, working people in the eastern federal states were on sick leave more often. In the east, sick leave averaged 5.0 percent, in the west only 3.9 percent.

For the analysis of sick leave, the data of 2.7 million employed insured persons of the health insurance company DAK-Gesundheit were evaluated by the IGES Institute in Berlin. (pm)

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