It is not known whether employees who have diabetes mellitus lose more time from work due to sickness than non-diabetic employees. A study was undertaken to compare sickness absence in 91 diabetic with 91 non-diabetic employees matched for sex, age, and occupation. Although sickness absence was greater in the diabetic group this was not significant. Mean sickness absence for the diabetic employees and controls was 32 v 20 days/year (95% confidence interval -5 to 29 days). Because of the large variability in sickness absence in both diabetic and non-diabetic employees, a study of this size is probably not sufficiently powerful to detect a difference.
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