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Ignoring Insomnia Costs America $42 Billion a Year
Date:5/27/2009

Research Paper Examines the Burdens of Insomnia and Potential Solutions

NEW YORK, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sanofi-aventis U.S., with research and support from The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI), has released a report showing the lag in the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia translates to billions of dollars in lost productivity and absenteeism in the American workforce. CMPI also estimates insomnia is responsible for at least $42 billion in direct and indirect healthcare costs each year.

The paper -- Waking Up to the Insomnia Crisis: How Insomnia is Costing America More Than $42 Billion a Year and What We Can Do About It -- reveals that while up to 70 million Americans may suffer from some form of insomnia, a frightening number of those cases are undiagnosed and untreated, even as the condition becomes a mounting financial burden on America's employers and the healthcare system.

In fact, the economic and social impact of insomnia is devastating:

  • People with insomnia miss work twice as much as those who do not suffer from the condition.
  • Insomnia costs employers about 4.4 days of wages per untreated individual over a six-month period, not including money spent on indirect costs, such as lost productivity and costs to treat the medical consequences of insomnia.
  • Healthcare professionals-in-training who work recurring 24-hour shifts with little sleep have been found to make 36% more serious medical errors and five times as many serious diagnostic errors than those whose work is limited to 16 consecutive hours.

CMPI Vice President Robert Goldberg, Ph.D. put the problem in perspective: "We should treat insomnia as it should be treated: a serious medical condition that has significant health and economic implications. Like other chronic diseases, insomni
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SOURCE Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
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