The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 16–23 | Cite as

Modeling the economic burden of diseases imputable to stress at work

  • Sophie Béjean
  • Hélène Sultan-TaïebEmail author
Original Papers


This study evaluated the costs of work-related stress in France. Three illnesses—cardiovascular diseases, depression, musculoskeletal diseases and back pain—that may result from exposure to stress are identified and the proportions of cases attributable to the risk factor are calculated from epidemiological studies. Two methodological hypotheses allow us to provide complementary evaluations of the social cost of occupational stress and raise the ethical questions inherent in the choice of methodology. For the year 2000 our model shows that of a working population of 23.53 million in France some 310,000–393,400 persons (1.3–1.7%) were affected by illnesses attributable to work-related stress, and that 2,300–3,600 persons died as a result of their illness. Work-related stress costs society between €1,167 million and €1,975 million in France, or 14.4–24.2% of the total spending of social security occupational illnesses and work injuries branch.


Occupational stress Attributable fractions method Cost of illness analysis 



This study was carried out under the aegis of the Economics and Management Laboratory (ex-LATEC, UMR CNRS 5118). It is largely based on postgraduate research by Nathalie Wolff at the University of Burgundy. Very valuable help was provided by S. Dhondt (TNO, The Netherlands), E. Lavaud (CNAMTS Information Department, France), L. Levi and P. Lunde-Jensen, Claude Le Pen (LEGOS, University Paris 9, France), and P. Mossé (LEST, CNRS, France). We express our gratitude to them for their advice and assistance in collecting data. We also thank anonymous referees for their helpful comments. The shortcomings of this study are ours alone.

Conflict of interest:

No information supplied


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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics and Management LaboratoryUniversity of BurgundyDijonFrance
  2. 2.Economics and Management LaboratoryUniversity of BurgundyDijonFrance
  3. 3.Economics and Management LaboratoryPôle d’Economie et de Gestion, 2 bd Gabriel, BP 26611Dijon cedexFrance

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