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Well at Work

60: The Number of Workdays You’ll Miss After a Heart Attack

George Doyle / Thinkstock

Heart attacks carry a heavy health burden, if you’re lucky enough to survive. But what’s often overlooked is the impact a coronary event will have on your work life. New research presented at a recent meeting of the American Heart Association found that for every heart attack suffered by an employee, their employer will face a productivity loss of around 60 missed workdays. Those absences translate to an $8,000 deficit. What’s more, long-term estimates that include ongoing medical visits and complications cause those figures to spike to 397 days and a tally of $52,000 per employee.

“(A heart attack) can have devastating effects from an economic standpoint on employers in terms of lost productivity, but more importantly on costs to the employee reflected in the average lost time per incident,” said the study’s lead author in a press release.

The annual healthcare costs, including out-of-pocket sums: another $8,000. The study looked at short- and long-term disability claims for more than 37,000 people. Interestingly, 95 percent of the patients were younger than 65—a working-class population.

If you’re worried about your heart-attack risk, the best way to heal your heart is to keep your weight in check, exercise, avoid smoking, and take prescription drugs to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels if necessary.

Tags: Health, Disease, Work