Employee Benefits

Depression Impacts Health Care Costs


Some days life seems out of control, and things just don’t go the way we’d like. And when days turn into weeks with no relief, productivity may be impacted. Many people take an optimistic approach to these unexpected experiences by adjusting to the situation and planning for better days ahead. But many people struggle to see beyond the circumstances and become depressed.

Research at Emory University’s Institute for Health and Productivity Studies shows that depression ranks in the top five of 10 leading risk factors linked to high health care costs among employees. The study discovered that annual medical spending for an employee with depression is $2,184 higher, or 48 percent more, than for non-depressed workers.  Four other factors contributing the most to excessive medical annual costs were obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco use and high blood pressure.

To learn more about depression and treatment options, visit WebMD’s Depression Health Center.

Information on Emory’s recent research study, Common risk factors account for large portion of employee health care costs, study shows,is available.