Joblessness could raise likelihood of heart attack
CHICAGO — Unemployment hurts more than your wallet — it could damage your heart. That's according to a study linking joblessness with heart attacks in older workers.
The increased odds weren't huge, although multiple job losses posed as big a threat as smoking, high blood pressure and other conditions that are bad for the heart.
The researchers analyzed data on more than 13,000 men and women ages 51 to 75 who were taking part in an ongoing health and retirement survey partly sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. Since 1992, participants have been interviewed every two years about their employment and health.
The analysis has several limitations. The data show periods of unemployment but don't indicate whether people were fired, laid off, out of work while switching jobs or voluntarily left a job. The researchers considered all of those situations “job losses,” but it's likely the greatest risks for heart attacks were from being fired or laid off, said researcher Matthew Dupre, an assistant professor at Duke University and the lead author.
The analysis appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.
The analysis covers 1992-2010. Participants were mostly in their 50s at the study's beginning and were asked about their job history, employment status and recent heart attacks at subsequent interviews. People who'd had heart attacks before the study began were excluded.
Nearly 70 percent had at least one job loss, or period of unemployment after working at a job, and at least 10 percent had four or more before and/or during the study period.
There were 1,061 heart attacks during the study. Those with at least one job loss were 22 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who never lost a job. Those with at least four job losses had a 60 percent higher risk than those with none. Men and women faced equal risks.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- States seek child molestation suspect’s extradition to Wyoming
- Food hubs offer alternative to farmers’ markets, grocery stores
- Chattanooga places bet on allure of high-speed Internet
- Judge wants insurer files in Superstorm Sandy lawsuit
- WikiLeaks releases purported CIA documents on operatives’ travel
- Officer kills armed 18-year-old near Ferguson
- Private firm SpaceX rebuilding Kennedy Space Center launch site
- Penalty for assault on cruise ship passenger by room service attendant up to judge
- Slain New York City police Officer Ramos mourned at funeral as tensions linger
- Syria may agree to peace talks