min read
April 19, 2023

The impact of anxiety and coexisting conditions on your organization

Anxiety alone can wreak havoc on your workforce — but did you know it also increases employees' likelihood of developing other costly diseases?

Nearly 20% of the US population struggle with an anxiety disorder, while 4% have received clinical diagnoses for generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety alone can substantially impact organizations — employees with anxiety cost, on average, $4,147 more in healthcare spend and just under $8,800 in added workplace expenses.1

And unfortunately, anxiety can increase employees’ likelihood of developing other costly diseases as well — known as comorbid conditions (conditions that occur at the same time).

Here, we’ll discuss some common anxiety-related comorbidities and key takeaways for employers interested in addressing employees’ conditions before they progress.

Heart disease

Heart disease is one of the most common comorbid conditions associated with anxiety, exhibiting the toll anxiety can take on both physical and mental health. Those with anxiety are 270% more likely to develop heart disease. As the leading cause of death in the US, heart disease poses a serious threat to employee health outcomes. In addition, heart disease can drive costs of just under $20,000 per year per employee in health care costs.


Those with anxiety are also 110% more likely to develop arthritis. A condition already common for many workers putting strain on their joints in their daily roles, arthritis can cost employers roughly $13,000 annually per employee in healthcare costs.


Another disease that impacts millions of people in the US is obesity. Those with anxiety are 31% more likely to struggle with obesity. In addition to the numerous other health concerns linked to obesity, the disease alone can cost employers approximately $3,000 a year in healthcare costs per employee.

Substance use disorders

The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that individuals with anxiety are twice as likely to suffer from substance abuse as the general population. In addition to concerns of lost productivity, absenteeism, and workplace absences and injuries, alcohol use can cost employers up to $30,000 annually per employee in healthcare costs.

Addressing worry and anxiety early on is necessary

Given the alarming statistics above, it’s clear that anxiety and its many commonly occurring comorbid conditions have a massive impact on your workforce’s health. Unfortunately, these are only a few comorbid conditions associated with constant worry and heightened stress.

Employers must prioritize addressing anxiety in their workforce before conditions escalate — for the sake of employees’ health, most importantly, and also because of the cost-saving potential.

That’s why Big Health delivers Daylight, a clinical-grade digital anxiety treatment designed for remission. Daylight teaches cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that allow employees to cope, manage, and overcome their constant worry and anxiety before it progresses. In a clinical trial, 71% of participants experienced significant improvement in their anxiety using Daylight.

By adding effective anxiety treatments to your toolkit, you can improve your organization’s physical and mental health, so your workforce can focus on what matters most.

Contact us today if you’d like to speak more about adding Daylight to your benefits package.

1. Internal Data. (2023).

Daylight is available as an adjunct to usual medical care for generalized anxiety disorder for adults ages 18 and older, without FDA review under their COVID-19 policy.

DOC-2712 Effective 04/2023

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During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Sleepio and Daylight are being made available as treatments for insomnia disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), respectively, without a prescription. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of insomnia disorder and GAD, respectively.

1. Qaseem, A., Kansagara, D., Forciea, M. A., Cooke, M., & Denberg, T. D. (2016). Management of chronic insomnia disorder in adults: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(2), 125-133.2. Riemann, D., Baglioni, C., Bassetti, C., Bjorvatn, B., Dolenc Groselj, L., Ellis, J. G., … & Spiegelhalder, K. (2017). European guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 26(6), 675-700.3. Wilson, S., Anderson, K., Baldwin, D., Dijk, D. J., Espie, A., Espie, C., … & Sharpley, A. (2019). British Association for Psychopharmacology consensus statement on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnias and circadian rhythm disorders: an update. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33(8), 923-947.4. King’s Technology Evaluation Centre. (2017, November 9). Overview: Health app: SLEEPIO for adults with poor Sleep: Advice. NICE. Espie, C. A., Kyle, S. D., Williams, C., Ong, J. C., Douglas, N. J., Hames, P., & Brown, J. S. (2012). A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of online cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia disorder delivered via an automated media-rich web application. Sleep, 35(6), 769-781.6. Carl, J. R., Miller, C. B., Henry, A. L., Davis, M. L., Stott, R., Smits, J. A., … & Espie, C. A. (2020). Efficacy of digital cognitive behavioral therapy for moderate‐to‐severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Depression and Anxiety, 37(12), 1168-1178.

DOC-3046 Effective 11/2023