The effects of diabetes mellitus and hypertension on work productivity

Vesna Krstović-Spremo, Maja Račić, Bojan N. Joksimović, Vedrana R. Joksimović


Objective. The primary objective of this paper is to examine the impact of diabetes mellitus on the ability to work in patients with diabetes mellitus. The second objective of this paper is to examine the differences in the ability to work between patients with diabetes mellitus and patients with other chronic diseases, such as hypertension. Material and methods. A study was conducted in 10 family medicine practices from two primary health care centers, Pale and East Sarajevo, in the period between July 2009 and May 2010, utilising a retrospective medical records review and a cross sectional survey. The outcomes used to portray respondent’s health status included functional measures and ability to work. Functional measures were analyzed using SF-36 and a general questionnaire. Absenteeism and productivity loss were retrospectively analyzed for the past ten years from a regional sick-leave database and the administrative records of the Commission for the assessment of work capacity for the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund of the Republika Srpska respectively. Results. Out of the total number of patients with diabetes, 24.6% had some form of disability. A statistically significant difference was found between the two groups; patients with diabetes mellitus were much more likely to have problems meeting the required standards at the workplace due to emotional and physical health issues compared to hypertensive patients. Conclusion. Diabetes mellitus appears to reduce an individual’s ability to work in comparison to patients with hypertension. There is a need to set up a diabetes mellitus prevention program and to develop and implement effective targeted intervention to help workers to manage their disease better.


Diabetes mellitus; Work productivity; Disability

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