OBJECTIVE: To prospectively investigate whether sickness presenteeism (SP), ie, going to work despite illness, has an impact on future sickness absenteeism. METHODS: Two study populations were used, one female dominated from the public sector that included 3757 employees, and one male dominated from the private sector comprising 2485 employees. RESULTS: SP on more than five occasions during the baseline year (2000) was a statistically significant risk factor for future sick leave (2002 and 2003) of more than 30 days among both populations even after adjusting for previous sick leave, health status, demographics, lifestyle, and work-related variables (2002, public sector, relative risk = 1.40; private sector, relative risk = 1.51). CONCLUSIONS: SP may be an important phenomenon to consider when evaluating measures aimed at decreasing sickness absenteeism because more SP may lead to future sickness absence.
2009. Vol. 51, no 6, 629-638 p.