Site Editor

Rebecca Olin, MD, MS


Australian Researchers Use Novel Work Utility Measure to Assess Productivity Impact of AML

By: Emily Rhode
Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may have greater negative impacts on years of life, productivity, and the overall economy than high-prevalence conditions such as smoking, diabetes, or hypertension, based on the findings of a recent study published in JCO Oncology Practice. These results center on using a novel work utility measure to estimate productivity loss attributed to AML on the working population in Australia. Ella Zomer, PhD, of Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues used the Productivity-Adjusted Life Year (PALY) in two model simulations that demonstrated the health and productivity impact of AML.

Dynamic life tables were constructed using published data sources to create models of the Australian working population with and without AML. The model simulated a 10-year period between 2020 and 2029. For the AML cohort model, mortality rates remained constant across the simulated period. Mortality rates for the non-AML cohort were based on mortality data from the general population. Productivity indices were 0.52 for the AML cohort and 1 for the non-AML cohort. All other data inputs came from published sources.

Researchers compared the current working population's modeled progress with a hypothetical scenario where the future incidence of AML was zero. Economic value was assigned to each PALY based on gross domestic product per hour worked. Secondary analyses looked at three different scenarios where survival rates increased, return-to-work rates of AML survivors increased, and the two scenarios were combined, respectively.

Compared with results from the general population, improving survival rates by 20% resulted in savings of 2,550 years of life lost, 930 PALYs, and $35 million USD, whereas a 20% increase in workforce participation resulted in 605 PALYs and $80 million USD saved. Thus, Dr. Zomer and colleagues concluded: “We have demonstrated that even small improvements in endpoints in a relatively rare cancer can lead to significant economic gains.”

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

By continuing to browse this site you permit us and our partners to place identification cookies on your browser and agree to our use of cookies to identify you for marketing. Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.