Unemployment Proves Deadly, Health Study Finds
The unemployed — especiallyِ men — haveِ a drastically increased risk ofِ dying early, according toِ newِ research.
But jobless people canِ fight theِ statistics byِ avoiding bad habits.
Our big finding isِ that unemployment doesِ increase theِ risk ofِ premature mortality byِ 63 percent, saidِ Eran Shor, a member ofِ the study’s research team andِ a sociology professor atِ McGill University.
There is probably a causal relationship here.
In pastِ research onِ the topic, Shor saidِ itِ was hard toِ distinguish whetherِ pre-existing health conditions, suchِ asِ diabetes orِ heart problems, orِ behaviors suchِ asِ smoking, drinking orِ drug use, lead toِ bothِ unemployment andِ a greater risk ofِ death.
In theِ newِ study, controls wereِ included toِ account forِ those factors.
Job loss isِ known toِ beِ bad forِ mental health, causing stress — andِ other research hasِ shown thatِ stress isِ deadly.
That stress can, in turn, lead to poor health habits, Shor said.
If youِ areِ unemployed, youِ areِ less likelyِ to haveِ good health care, andِ less likelyِ to haveِ healthy eating habits, heِ said.
Cincinnati psychologist Kenneth Manges saidِ the unemployed needِ to pay extra attention toِ theirِ health whileِ theyِ areِ out ofِ work toِ avoid picking upِ bad habits thatِ couldِ causeِ problems later.
They mightِ getِ overwhelmed, andِ use thoseِ (things) asِ tension-relievers, whenِ inِ fact theyِ areِ tension-exasperators.” To avoid slipping intoِ these behaviors, Manges recommends attending support groups thatِ offer encouragement forِ the unemployed andِ job-hunting helpِ to getِ them backِ on theirِ feet.
Shor believes public health agencies should be the ones to address the issue.
We shouldِ beِ targeting thisِ with interventions, Shor said.
Promoting aggressive cardiovascular screening andِ increased education regardingِ ways toِ reduce risky behaviors, heِ said, wouldِ beِ a good start.
The study, whichِ wasِ conducted byِ researchers atِ both McGill andِ Stoney Brook Universities, wasِ published inِ the March 2011 issue ofِ the journal Social Science & Medicine.