Fainting: The Effects in the Workplace

Working-age people who have fainting spells (a condition known as syncope) have a higher risk of occupational accidents and job loss, compared to adults without the condition, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

According to a report in Science Daily, a Danish study comparing adults age 18 to 64 with recurrent syncope to those without it, those with syncope found:

  • a 1.4-fold increased risk of occupational accidents; and
  • a 2-fold higher risk of loss of employment (31 percent vs 15 percent),

Also, patients with recurrent syncope who were young, had poor socioeconomic status, or additional conditions (such as cardiovascular disease or depression), were particularly at high risk of workplace accidents or job termination.

Researchers noted that 622 patients had a subsequent occupational accident and 36 involved severe injuries such as fracture, amputation crush or internal bleeding. Accidents were most frequent among those working manual jobs.

The study was based on 2008-2013 data covering residents from Denmark’s national population-based registers. The median age was 48, and 49.7 percent were men.