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March 21, 1966

Absenteeism and Women: A Remedy

JAMA. 1966;195(12):49. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100120025009

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Abstract

Just as many physician-employers have long suspected, the rate of medical absenteeism from the job may be twice as high for women as for men.

But the difference need not be, an industrial physician reports.

An excessive number of absences of women for minor, often unnecessary medical reasons is a major problem for many employers, Preston M. Dunning, MD, told The Journal in Philadelphia where the American Academy for Occupational Medicine met last month.

"For many organizations the women's rate—with allowance made for pregnancy—doubles that for men," Dr. Dunning said.

"The type of illness most commonly reported by both men and women employees is, of course, minor respiratory infections and influenza. However, the difference in the rates may be largely attributed to relatively minor gynecological problems—most often menstrual cramps."

It may also be due to certain psychological factors such as the traditional concept that the women are supposed to be

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