Study Finds Links Between Mandated Sick Leaves and Cancer Screenings - medtigo



Study Finds Links Between Mandated Sick Leaves and Cancer Screenings

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With hectic work and families to care for, it might be difficult to take care of oneself, and leaving the workplace is not always simple. Yet, according to a recent study, more paid sick days led to an increase in cancer tests.  

Over the seven-year study period, breast cancer screening rates increased by up to 4%, and colorectal cancer screening rates increased by between 6% and 8%, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.  

Access to the healthcare system is not always guaranteed in the United States. Without insurance, a simple trip to the doctor’s office can cost between $300 and $600. Due to the fact that many doctor’s offices are closed on weekends, employees cannot always visit the hospital for an annual checkup. Although health insurance might cover specific tests and appointments, employees are not always assured of time.  

According to Kevin Callison, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Professor of Economics at the Murphy Institute of Political Economy at Tulane University, these nonmonetary barriers to healthcare access are significant. Callison adds, “Improving or lowering these barriers can have significant effects on people’s health.”  

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the United States remains one of the few wealthy nations in the world that does not mandate paid sick leave for employees. Around one-quarter of workers cannot take even one paid sick day during their careers.  

From 2012 to 2019, researchers examined the breast and colorectal cancer screening rates among two million private sector employees. Around this time, a number of states in the United States began mandating paid sick leave, and 61 out of 300 metropolitan statistical areas adopted the program. Even though the increase in screening rates was minor, the study included employees who had access to paid sick leave.  

When the researchers limited their analysis to those who obtained compulsory sick leave for the first time, they estimated that the breast screening rate had increased by between 9 and 12 percent. Comparatively, the colorectal screening rate increased from 21% to 29%. Callison emphasizes, “Our effects become substantially larger if we are willing to believe that only the workers who are obtaining paid sick leave coverage are the ones modifying their screening practices.”  

“Our point is that we have a more accurate estimate of the association between paid sick leave and cancer screenings since we focused on these policies that drive changes in coverage as opposed to people self-selecting into coverage,”  new study emphasizes the significance of paid sick leave and the significance of the U.S. healthcare system.  

More cancer screenings, according to Callison, can lead to improved outcomes and even reduce cancer mortality rates. The majority of employees without paid sick leave are people of color who are financially unstable, according to the survey.  

Currently, 17 states and 18 cities have legislated sick leave, whilst 18 states have prohibited cities from implementing such regulations. Callison concludes: “We are aware that racial and ethnic minorities tend to have higher cancer mortality rates. Hence, will this help to close these gaps? It is the direction in which we wish to proceed.” 



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