Quantifying the macroeconomic cost of night-time bathroom visits: an application to the UK

Marco Hafner, Erez Yerushalmi, Fredrik L. Andersson, Teodor Burtea

Research output: Working paper


Little is known on the impact that nocturia (the need to wake up at night to urinate) has on a nation?s economy. While there are many individual factors associated with inadequate sleep (e.g. bad sleep hygiene, chronic sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea), frequently having to wake up at night to urinate fragments sleep, with negative consequences on an individual?s health and well-being as well as daytime functioning. Using a large-scale UK workforce data, we estimate the prevalence of nocturia in the working population and quantify the lost worker productivity caused by nocturia, measured by absenteeism and presenteeism. This enters our multi-country general equilibrium model, which we calibrate to the UK economy, to estimate the annual macroeconomic cost of nocturia. We find the annual cost of clinically significant nocturia (waking up at least twice to urinate) is around �5.4 billion, or equivalently �1996 per worker with nocturia. This cost estimate is larger than previous estimates on the productivity effects of nocturia using cost-of-illness (COI) methods, suggesting the importance of taking into account general equilibrium effects when assessing the economic burden of health conditions.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentre for Applied Finance and Economics (CAFE), Birmingham City Business School, Birmingham City University
Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 6 Oct 2020


  • nocturia
  • sleep
  • general equilibrium model
  • economic cost
  • urology


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