Sick leave for mental health increases early death risk

Taking a week or more of sick leave for a mental health problem could increase the risk of early death, UK research suggests.

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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