Sick leave for colds linked to early death?

New research is raising serious questions about what this may mean for your long-term health.

A study in the British Medical Journal Online finds workers who are absent from their job for seven or more days face an increased risk for premature death. Researchers say the association is seen not just with serious medical conditions but common health problems as well such as a cold or the flu.

The study involved 6,000 civil servants over 13 years.

Experts say the results could help doctors and employers identify people at higher risk for serious illness long before they develop symptoms.

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