(HealthDay News) – Diabetes has a negative impact on the ability to work, according to a review and meta-analysis published in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Marie-Claude Breton, PhD, from Laval University in Quebec, Canada, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the ability to work for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Data from 23 studies (17 cross-sectional, four cohort, and one case-control) were reviewed, with outcomes of interest including absenteeism (17 studies), productivity (six studies), presenteeism (four studies), and early retirement (four studies).

The researchers found that the effects of diabetes on the ability to work were generally consistent across 11 studies with high methodological quality, with diabetes having a significant negative impact on the ability-to-work outcome considered in nine of the studies. The correlations between diabetes and increased absenteeism were significant in all but two studies. Compared to those without diabetes, individuals with diabetes had between two and 10 days more absenteeism per year and retired 0.7 years earlier.

“Taken overall, diabetes appears to reduce an individual’s ability to work,” the authors write. “There is a need for setting up diabetes prevention programs and to develop and implement effective targeted intervention to help workers better manage their disease. Otherwise this diabetes-related burden could worsen as the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the working-age population continues to rise.”

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