Absenteeism, presenteeism, and the economic costs of alcohol hangover in the Netherlands

Noortje R. Severeijns, Annabel S.M. Sips, Agnese Merlo, Gillian Bruce, Joris C. Verster*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The alcohol hangover is defined as the combination of negative mental and physical symptoms that can be experienced after a single episode of alcohol consumption, starting when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) approaches zero. Alcohol hangover symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and headache can negatively affect daily activities, including work performance. The alcohol hangover can therefore be a cause of both absenteeism (not going to work) and presenteeism (going to work while hungover). An online survey among a convenience sample of n = 347 Dutch adults examined the number of days of absenteeism and presenteeism associated with having a hangover as well as the loss of productivity when going to work when hungover during the year 2019. In the Dutch sample, 8.1% of employees reported one or more days of absenteeism due to hangover in 2019, and 33.4% reported one or more days of presenteeism. The analyses revealed that alcohol hangover was associated with 0.2 days of absenteeism and 8.3 days of presenteeism and a productivity loss of 24.9% on days worked with a hangover. The estimated associated costs for the Dutch economy in 2019 of absenteeism (EUR 234,538,460) and presenteeism (EUR 2,423,603,184) total EUR 2,658,141,644. In conclusion, the alcohol hangover is associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, and reduced performance at work while hungover. As such, the annual costs of the alcohol hangover have a significant impact on the Dutch economy. However, these first findings on the economic costs of the alcohol hangover should be considered a rough estimate. They should be verified in a longitudinal study to minimize recall bias, including a nationally representative sample of sufficient sample size.

Original languageEnglish
Article number335
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2024


  • absenteeism
  • alcohol
  • economic costs
  • hangover
  • presenteeism
  • work performance


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