Spotlight on article published in

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

IBI Spotlights call attention to important health and productivity findings from peer-reviewed work. The research described in this particular Spotlight is authored or co-authored by an IBI researcher. IBI members are encouraged to obtain the original articles from the copyright holder.

What is the Issue?

The scientific literature has little to say about the relationship between medication adherence, comorbidity and health risk factors in the workplace and the overall impact of all three on absence and job performance.

What are the findings/solutions?

Medication adherence among heart patients and diabetics was linked to better productivity outcomes. Co-morbidities and health risks were linked to worse productivity.

Journal Citation

Loeppke, R., Haufle, V., Jinnett, K., Parry, T., Zhu, J., Hymel, P., & Konicki, D. (2011). Medication adherence, comorbidities, and health risk impacts on workforce absence and job performance. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 53(6), 595-604.


To understand impacts of medication adherence, comorbidities, and health risks on workforce absence and job performance.


Retrospective observational study using employees’ medical/pharmacy claims and self-reported health risk appraisals.


  • Statin medication adherence in individuals with Coronary Artery Disease was significant predictor (P < 0.05) of decreasing absenteeism.
  • Insulin, oral hypoglycemic, or metformin medication adherence in type 2 diabetics was significant (P < 0.05) predictor of decreasing job performance.
  • Number of comorbidities was found as significant (P < 0.5) predictor of absenteeism in five of nine subsamples.
  • Significant links (P < 0.05) between high health risks and lower job performance were found across all nine subsamples.


Results suggest integrated health and productivity management strategies should include an emphasis on primary and secondary prevention to reduce health risks in addition to tertiary prevention efforts of disease management and medication management.