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U.S. workers took an average of 14 sick days in 2007 due to their own illness or injury, or to care for a sick child or other family member, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
On average, employees took 10 days off because they were sick or injured and an additional 4 to care for family members.
The federal agency’s analysis also found that:
• Workers ages 55 to 64 took an average of 18 days off of work, compared with 10 days for workers ages 16 to 24.
• About 38 percent of female workers missed work in 2007 for their own health problems, versus about 30 percent of male employees.
• Married women (24 percent) and married men (17 percent) aged 16-64 were more likely to miss work to care for a sick child or other family member, compared with unmarried women (14 percent) or unmarried men (7 percent).
• Only 26 percent of uninsured employees took sick leave as compared to 36.5 percent of privately insured workers and 32 percent of people with Medicaid or other public insurance.
AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid.