Americans: out sick for three work weeks

WASHINGTON (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. workers took off an average of 14 days in 2007 due to illness or injury, or to care for a sick child or other family member, federal researchers reported on Friday.

A teenaged boy is the least likely to take off sick days, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found, while a middle-aged woman, often caring for children and elderly parents, was the most likely.

The AHRQ used interviews from the 2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey of 15,000 households for its report, which showed that on average, employees took 10 days off because they were sick or injured and four more to care for family members.

The survey also showed that:

* Workers aged 55 to 64 took an average of 18 days off work, compared with 10 days for workers ages 16 to 24.

* About 29 percent of people aged 16 to 24 took a workday off, compared to 36 percent of those aged 25 to 54 and one third of employees 55 to 64.

* 38 percent of female workers missed work in 2007 for their own health problems, versus 30 percent of men.

* Only 26 percent of employees without health insurance took sick leave, versus 36.5 percent of the privately insured workers and 32 of workers with Medicaid or other public insurance.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Jerry Norton)

Americans: out sick for three work weeks