Women take almost 50 percent more short-term sick leave than men

Feb 05, 2008

Women take almost 50% more short term sick leave than men, finds research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. But they don’t take more long term sick leave, the findings show.

The researchers assessed periods of sick leave among almost 7000 municipal workers in Helsinki, Finland, between 2002 and 2005.

The employees, who were all aged between 40 and 60, were also quizzed about their working lives and general health.

Physical health problems, physical work demands, and work fatigue were more commonly reported by women. And they were 46% more likely than men to call in sick for short periods of a few days (self certified sick leave).

They were also a third more likely to take short term sick leave, certifiied by a doctor.

But diagnosed illness explained only about a third of the difference in spells of self certified sick leave and about half of that certified by a doctor.

Women may be better at recognising problems and going to the doctor for treatment, suggest the authors.

The gender differences in sick leave gradually weakened for periods longer than two weeks. And when it came to periods of 60 days or more, there was little difference between men and women.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: AMA: avoiding distress in medical school

Related Stories

Grass plants can transport infectious prions

May 16, 2015

Grass plants can bind, uptake and transport infectious prions, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The research was published online in the latest ...

Recommended for you

AMA: avoiding distress in medical school

15 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Understanding the key drivers underlying medical students' distress can help address the issues and enhance student well-being, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

European court to rule on right-to-die case

May 21, 2015

Europe's human rights court will on June 5 rule on whether a man in a vegetative state can be taken off life support, a case that has ignited a fierce euthanasia debate in France, a spokesman said Thursday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.