Objectives To estimate the annual costs of coronary heart diseases (CHD) and mental disorders (MD) attributable to job strain exposure according to Karasek’s model in France for the year 2003 from a societal perspective.
Method We produced attributable fraction estimates which were applied to the number of cases (morbidity and mortality) and the costs of CHD and MD. Relative risk estimates came from a systematic literature review of prospective studies. We conducted meta-analyses based on this selection of studies. Prevalence of exposure to job strain came from the national SUMER survey conducted in France in 2003.
Results Between 8.8 and 10.2% of CHD morbidity and between 9.4 and 11.2% of CHD mortality was attributable to job strain for men. Between 15.2 and 19.8% of MD was attributable to job strain for men, and between 14.3 and 27.1% for women. The total costs of CHD and MD attributable to job strain exposure ranged from 1.8 to 3 billion euros for the year 2003 (0.12–0.19% GDP). Medical costs accounted for 11% of the total costs, value of life costs accounted for 13–15% and sick leave costs for 74–77%. The cost of CHD was estimated at 113–133 million euros and the cost of MD was between 1.7–2.8 billion euros in 2003.
Conclusions This study on the economic burden of diseases attributable to job strain in France provides relevant insights for policy-makers when defining public health priorities for prevention policies.
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