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Study Highlights Impact of Chronic Conditions on Working America

Northeast worst region for asthma, Southeast worst for hypertension

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A report released today by the American Hospital Association (AHA) quantifies the toll common chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and hypertension take on American workers. These three chronic conditions cause working Americans to miss an estimated 164 million work days each year at a cost of $30 billion to employers. Of these three conditions, asthma takes the greatest toll.

"Millions of Americans are unnecessarily suffering from chronic conditions," said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO. "One thing today's study demonstrates is the need to keep people feeling better -- able to go on with their lives and work. We can manage chronic conditions. The message is clear, preventive medicine and wellness programs must be central to our health care system."

Additionally, the study highlights that:

-- For every 1,000 working Americans, an estimated 1,221 work days are

lost each year due to asthma, diabetes and hypertension.

-- Nationwide, asthma accounts for roughly 900 missed work days per 1,000

working Americans with the greatest impact in Rhode Island, Maine and

Massachusetts where more than 1,200 work days were missed. South

Carolina and Hawaii were least affected by asthma per 100 workers.

-- Missed work days related to diabetes was highest in Mississippi and

West Virginia while Colorado and Minnesota had the least diabetes

related missed days. Nationwide, diabetes accounts for an estimated

112 days missed per 1,000 working Americans. The lost work time is

estimated to cost employers $2.8 billion.

-- In California, hypertension alone accounts for an estimated 2.8 million

lost work days each year. Nationally, hypertension accounts for 200

days missed per 1,000 employees in the Southeast but fewer th

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