Employee Caregivers and Their Health Risks
Employee caregivers suffer a higher incidence of health conditions that are proven to be caused and/or affected by lifestyle factors, i.e. diet, stress, etc.
In the MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs (Feb 2010), diabetes was more common in employed caregivers than non-caregivers (7% vs 4%).
Overall, working caregivers are more likely to be taking a prescription medication to lower cholesterol (21% of white collar working caregivers vs 16% of non-caregivers, and 24% of blue collar caregivers vs 19% of non-caregivers).
In the area of hypertension, caregivers come out high again, as they are more likely to be taking anti-hypertensive medication: 23% of white collar caregivers report taking anti-hypertensive medications vs 16% of non-caregivers. For blue-collar caregivers, the ratios are 25% for caregivers vs 20% for non-caregivers.
The study tracked other health conditions as well, and concluded that caregiving makes working caregivers more susceptible to these and other conditions, and consequently increases employers health care costs by 8% per year.