For the study, the researchers from University College London analysed sick leave records from 20,000 employees, aged 37-51.
They then tracked the subsequent long-term health of these employees for 14 years. During this period 902 people died.
Employees who took sick leave lasting seven or more working days were 60% more likely to die early from any cause compared with employees who did not take sick leave.
Employees who took time off for a mental illness had the highest risk of premature death.
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