16 March 2016
The aim of this study was to reveal the association between airflow limitation (AL) severity and reduction with work productivity as well as use of sick leave among Japanese workers.
This cross-sectional study included 1,378 workers who underwent a lung function test during a health checkup at the Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Health Care Center. AL was defined as forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity of <0.7. Workers completed a questionnaire on productivity loss at work and sick leave. The quality and quantity of productivity loss at work were measured on a ten-point scale indicating how much work was actually performed on the previous workday. Participants were asked how many days in the past 12 months they were unable to work because of health problems. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the associations between AL severity and the quality and quantity of productivity loss at work as well as use of sick leave.
Compared with workers without AL, workers with moderate-to-severe AL showed a significant productivity loss (quality: odds ratio [OR] =2.04, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12–3.71, P=0.02 and quantity: OR =2.19, 95% CI: 1.20–4.00, P=0.011) and use of sick leave (OR =2.69, 95% CI: 1.33–5.44, P=0.006) after adjusting for sex, age, body mass index, smoking status, hypertension, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, sleep duration, work hours per day, and workplace smoking environment.