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Ann Arbor, Michigan–Employees with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) has greater health care costs and productivity losses and is more likely to report arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes and heart disease.

This study examined the health care, pharmacy and short term disability costs of employees (N=3285) of a manufacturing corporation in 2004 and 2006 who did and did not have MetS and disease.

The prevalence of MetS increased in this population from 29.8% in 2004 to 32.1% in 2006 and MetS was significantly associated with the incidence of arthritis, chronic pain, diabetes, and heart disease with odds ratios ranging from 1.607 for chronic pain to 13.191 for diabetes.  The costs of those with MetS and disease were 3.66 times greater than those without MetS and without disease.

MetS includes the risk factors of blood pressure, triglycerides, overweight, HDL cholesterol and elevated glucose.  Those with the syndrome are at increased risk of morbidity and mortality from a variety of health conditions, thus making MetS an important trait to recognize and treat.

Alyssa B. Schultz PhD, first author of the paper from the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center says: “MetS is associated with disease and increased costs in this working population. There is an opportunity for health promotion to prevent MetS risk factors from progressing to disease status which may improve vitality for employees as well as limit the economic impact to the corporation.”

This will be discussed in Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and outcomes Research.

Value in Health (ISSN 1098-3015) publishes papers, concepts, and ideas that advance the field of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research and help health care leaders to make decisions that are solidly evidence-based.  The journal is published bi-monthly and has a regular readership of over 4,000 clinicians, decision-makers, and researchers worldwide.

ISPOR is a nonprofit, international organization that strives to translate pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research into practice to ensure that society allocates scarce health care resources wisely, fairly, and efficiently.

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