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BMC Public Health

, 12:451

Health policies, systems and management in high-income countries

Abstract

BackgroundFrequent illness and injury among workers with high body mass index BMI can raise the costs of employee healthcare and reduce workforce maintenance and productivity. These issues are particularly important in vocational settings such as the military, which require good physical health, regular attendance and teamwork to operate efficiently. The purpose of this study was to compare the incidence of injury and illness, absenteeism, productivity, healthcare usage and administrative outcomes among Australian Defence Force personnel with varying BMI.

MethodsPersonnel were grouped into cohorts according to the following ranges for BMI: normal 18.5 − 24.9 kg-m; n = 197, overweight 25–29.9 kg-m; n = 154 and obese ≥30 kg-m with restricted body fat ≤28% for females, ≤24% for males n = 148 and with no restriction on body fat n = 180. Medical records for each individual were audited retrospectively to record the incidence of injury and illness, absenteeism, productivity, healthcare usage i.e., consultation with medical specialists, hospital stays, medical investigations, prescriptions and administrative outcomes e.g., discharge from service over one year. These data were then grouped and compared between the cohorts.

ResultsThe prevalence of injury and illness, cost of medical specialist consultations and cost of medical scans were all higher p < 0.05 in both obese cohorts compared with the normal cohort. The estimated productivity losses from restricted work days were also higher p < 0.05 in the obese cohort with no restriction on body fat compared with the normal cohort. Within the obese cohort, the prevalence of injury and illness, healthcare usage and productivity were not significantly greater in the obese cohort with no restriction on body fat compared with the cohort with restricted body fat. The number of restricted work days, the rate of re-classification of Medical Employment Classification and the rate of discharge from service were similar between all four cohorts.

ConclusionsHigh BMI in the military increases healthcare usage, but does not disrupt workforce maintenance. The greater prevalence of injury and illness, greater healthcare usage and lower productivity in obese Australian Defence Force personnel is not related to higher levels of body fat.

AbbreviationsADFAustralian Defence Force

BMIBody mass index.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-12-451 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Jonathan Peake - Susan Gargett - Michael Waller - Ruth McLaughlin - Tegan Cosgrove - Gary Wittert - Peter Nasveld - Peter 

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/







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